Plausible Democratic Deniability: Outsourcing/Underdevelopment, Poverty, Homelessness, Joblessness in Americas' Society

A Struggle Against Modern Black Codes

Reaction To Decades Of Poverty, Neglect and abusie by Police When Africans in Baltimore Exploded
Reaction To Decades Of Poverty, Neglect and abusie by Police When Africans in Baltimore Exploded
Celebrating The Indictment of Abusive Cops, Solidarity Mode In Baltimore, USA-2015...
Celebrating The Indictment of Abusive Cops, Solidarity Mode In Baltimore, USA-2015...
Picturesque american Realpolitik in Action: Obama's Inauguration Speech and his supporters on January 21, 2013
Picturesque american Realpolitik in Action: Obama's Inauguration Speech and his supporters on January 21, 2013 | Source
November 2012: Obama Re-Elected second term as the President of the United States of America
November 2012: Obama Re-Elected second term as the President of the United States of America
Moments of celebration and triumph for the Obama family and his supporters who they are acknowledging in this photo...
Moments of celebration and triumph for the Obama family and his supporters who they are acknowledging in this photo...
President Obama and Vice President Biden and their famiiies celebrate their victory with the crowd on Nov 7. 2012- Obama had just been re-elcted with a mandate by the Americans people/voters
President Obama and Vice President Biden and their famiiies celebrate their victory with the crowd on Nov 7. 2012- Obama had just been re-elcted with a mandate by the Americans people/voters
Obama pushing for college funding and improvement
Obama pushing for college funding and improvement
Copy of the Constitution of the American People
Copy of the Constitution of the American People
Americans say Corporate America Recovered FromFamilies
Americans say Corporate America Recovered FromFamilies
Companies actually work for Wall Street: CEOs answer to Wall Street, not employees or customers; everyone is expendable; companies easily run overseas for cheap labor plus profit margins; no human factor at corporate level
Companies actually work for Wall Street: CEOs answer to Wall Street, not employees or customers; everyone is expendable; companies easily run overseas for cheap labor plus profit margins; no human factor at corporate level
Pepsi Cola's Logo Then
Pepsi Cola's Logo Then
Pepsi's Logo Now
Pepsi's Logo Now
Starbucks Logo Then
Starbucks Logo Then
Stabucks Logo Now
Stabucks Logo Now
Toyot's Log Then
Toyot's Log Then
Toyota's log Now
Toyota's log Now
McDonald's Logo then
McDonald's Logo then
McDonald's Logo Now - They're Loving it!
McDonald's Logo Now - They're Loving it!
Apple Computer's Logo Then
Apple Computer's Logo Then
Apple Computer's Logo Now
Apple Computer's Logo Now
People have got to begin to get to know the fats on "Uber-Polluting Koch Industries
People have got to begin to get to know the fats on "Uber-Polluting Koch Industries
Koch Industries does not respect EPA's science based approach to managing climate change; instead, they fabricate their own fact and publish propaganda as credible academic information
Koch Industries does not respect EPA's science based approach to managing climate change; instead, they fabricate their own fact and publish propaganda as credible academic information

The GOP And The non-Governing Shenanigans

The Mid-term elections have been upon us, and there is predictable even American break in power that could never be more visible than now. There is more quibbling by those who do not know issues well and the 'nattering nabobs' who are about to inherit power, and this shows us that the time has come for the two American political parties to begin to work for the American people and recasting an America that should be now be hurling full speed ahead into the 21 century.

As Gil Scot-Heron serenaded, "Americans want to go back as far back as last week," just to show how this short attention span and recollection has and is affecting the American political, social, and economic psyche(although here, in this Hub, it is shown how it stretches back even further, as we shall see in the article). As we are heading towards the closing of the voting times, statistics are showing, on TV, that the American people are equally dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic Party; that the democrats(small 'd'), or should one say that so called 'Blue Dogs democrats', with their shenanigans, were ousted.

By the way, the Republicans stated their objectives when Obama took power, that, they are going to make sure that, "He(Obama) fails during his reign, or that they are going to make sure that Obama become a 'one term president'."

"And true to their promise and form, they rejected and voted "No" to everything Obama was doing, but behind the scenes used every opportunity to cut 'red ribbons' for all the projects that were financed from the "Stimulus Project" Obama passed, and those places under Republicans and along with the "Tea Baggers" have 'plausibly denied' Obama all the good intentions he had for the American people, and meanwhile they offer no solutions, and instead, as they holler, "impeach him"('Obama', and deny him the 'second term').

What for? Why deny Americans government's Monies and call them 'over spending ' and 'waste', rant and rave about 'bigger government', denying small businesses loans, denying Americans 'A national Healthcare for all" , "giving tax-cuts to the rich, accepting foreign money to run American political Ads and be prepared to cut Social Security, wanting to repeal health care, reverse all what Obama has implemented, and not cooperate with the President?

Well, according to the Republicans(GOP) strategy, the more they denied respect and recognition of Obama's Presidency, the more bad he will look in the eyes of the American voting polity; and, they hope, the more inept, inexperienced, and a bungling leader he will appear to be.

This has been now been interpreted as anger of the "Tea Baggers", yet, when it began, with the Republicans, it was to 'serve Obama his waterloo', which has become now the 'enthusiasm Gap', they claim, that has burgeoned amongst the Right fringe elements of the GOP, and amidst all this, the so-called minorities(who are now the growing majority, on the Right) have been left out of the loop, which I see as to the detriment of the GOP and their strategists.

It is political(white politics) as usual in the US (and this is a mistake to racialize politics and voting, ad we will see below in the this Hub why this is so), and this is done at the expense of the poor and ignored so--called minorities (who are disregarded, disrespected, and not afforded the Democracy they have a right to, but denied it under the ruse that they are not Americans?).

Since the announcement of the Recession that has hit the US from the beginning of Obama's rule, with a tanking economy, market crashes, raving foreclosures, banks going out of business, motorcar industry faltering, joblessness, and most of the jobs outsourced, the progressive underdevelopment of America, intelligence, education, has been swept aside and seemingly opting for ignorance, racism and general return of social issues which had been done away with in the 1960s, 19970s and today, America is now facing a more serious threat, of becoming worse than the so-called Third World, which will be explored in-depth in this Hub.

There seems to be some new inconsistency whenever one is dealing with American Realpolitik: the reality and real power of powerful moneyed interest, and what they are prepared to do: buying the present government and trying to buy and control the vote. On one part of the mouth politicians say something else(as in what they are going to change in Washington promise; on the other half they say what they are going to do: protect the rich[but go against their promises as soon as they arrive in Washington.

This hub will look at who is behind the scene and what they are doing to make the elected politicians do to further expand their corporate interests, and cut taxes for the rich. 'These 2010 mid-term elections are a referendum on Obama,' the pundits of all stripes tell us. On the same note they elect the people who have brought down the US economy during the Bush years, and are electing others who have no clue (but they do, because they will be cutting secret deals in the smokey rooms-doing business as usual in Washington, with their puppet masters-and they also do it because the their disdain and 'hatred' [too strong a word, but true] Obama). So, who is fooling who?

Meanwhile, lobbied interests, foreign countries and multi-corporations with investments overseas, through outsourcing are raking in trillions by sponsoring their selections who will dance to their tunes, demands and commands-yet, this farce is called 'change', 'referendum on Obama's policies and Obama himself', who by the way did pass many laws that favored the poor, resuscitating banks and other businesses, and passed the national healthcare law, credit card control laws, and other proposed regulatory laws and so forth.

These democratic achievements are being denied and those like healthcare, credit card laws, regulation of Wall Street reform, Stimulus Package, Tarp Laws, threatened with repeal, reversal or total elimination in favor of the of Bush laws(supposedly Republican credo, which has been usurped by Tea Baggers), that one begins to wonder where the minorities (who it was proven later to be the 'new majority') are, because, even if they run their Presidential picks (i.e/, the GOP), the issue still remains if whether they can be able to win (especially those running under the Republican Party cum-Tea Baggers).

But that issue has been resolved, many Tea-Baggers have been elected and it would be better to look deeper, in this hub, as to where all this money and energy was coming from-and what will or has happened to the Tea-bagger and their pell mell-mell rush into changing Washington since the 2010 election and the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential elections.

If someWhite Americans claim that 'they want their country back,' one is left wondering from whom-and who took it? The composition of the Tea Bagger protesters is made up mainly of White folks. There is denial that this is the case, and a few token blacks are often displayed, [who seem to have no effect on the black populace which is deliberately being left out of the "American Dream" loop].

So, for who is the anger against? And,again, from whom does it ooze from; who is in charge of all this social malaise? The contemporary viral media in all its formation is buzzing hot with memes and "Talking Points" that are taking over the ether, Web and the mindset of America, and are all projecting the 'anger' that was thought to be abound throughout the United States. This means, that with all what is happening is Americans castigating both parties in the Polls and voting patterns, that political parties are not taking care of the American people as they should.

They are all unhappy with both parties, the nay-sayers, those that have been taken over the House of Representatives today(the GOP and Tea Baggers), it would seem like they have come aboard the US government and governance with a vengeance(by the way, meanwhile, the American people are hurting and very insecure with the loss of their jobs(to 'outsourcing', of which many Republicans subscribe to),decrying the loss of their healthcare(which is about to be repealed-should the Republicans take the Presidency).

The loss of their houses and the future of their children, the loss of the status of America around the world as a super-power, and its loss of the US's flawless Credit rating globally], the US's loss of its economic power, and unnecessary wars in Afghanistan Iraq and elsewhere which are emptying the coffers of the nation, that, with these issues in mind, one will begin to discern why and how is America being underdeveloped-and, also, why the masses of poor Americans and their middle-class are disgruntled.

It is underdevelopment when facts show that it(the U.S). Is lagging in technology, education, economy and so forth behind other Western and Developing countries throughout the world. Or is it underdevelopment when the people in the House of Representatives are bellyaching to erase and strides made in the past two years, and reverse the US gains made twenty or more years in the past, with the GOP's the policies of making the rich richer, and the poor even more poorer; giving more to Corporate Potentates who fleece and rip-off the country more than it has ever been-we are seeing corporate monopoly takeover-of the US government and main street Americans' life..

The corporate funds and foreign Capital utilized Commercials to manipulate and hoodwink the US populace as if the whole thing is a referendum on Obama, and a chance to take "Back America," while for them it is an opportunity to pocket all the 'juice' under the guise of change and so forth.

This is a ploy where the denial of the American reality, poverty, joblessness, outsourcing, political gamesmanship, spin, and negative commercials with (billions poured into that gaping hole, wile million languish without unemployment benefits, lacking adequate health coverage), is being unashamedly and abashedly worn on the newbies sleeves in the House of Representatives by the incoming freshmen of Tea Baggers.

The corporations are ruling supreme and are steadily taking over America, as we shall see in this hub. But, will the American people allow that to happen? We shall soon throughout this Hub.

The Height Of Democratic Denial Rising

Looking at the results of the coming into power of the Republicans and their Tea Bagger crew, one cannot fail to observe that the battles of the 1990s are with us for the next coming four or more year. If the Republics will undo what Obama has achieved, we are in a reversal mode of the present society as we know it.

There are concerns about the extremism of the New members of the incoming Tea Baggers, half of which swept the Republican juggernaut into power yesterday, and now we see and hear rhetoric bordering on extremism, at a time when the US is suffering massive blows in housing, employment, and rabid military spending in Afghanistan are bankrupting the country.

The New York Times reporter, Kate, writes: "Now, as it Tea Party (Tea Baggers) tries to make the transition from a protest movement to a power on Capitol Hill, The (Tea Party)Tea Bagger faces the challenge of channeling the energy it brought to the elections into a governing agenda when it has no clear mandate, a stated distaste for the inevitable comprises of legislating, and a wary relationship with Republican leaders in Congress.

For many voters the Tea Party(Tea Baggers) has been a blank screen on which they have projected all kinds of hopes and frustrations — not always compatible or realistic. To many in the movement; 'the singular goal is to stop an expanding government in its tracks, to "hold the line at all hazards," As Jennifer Stefano, a Tea Party leader in Pennsylvania, put it:

"But the movement is also animated by a belief that what the entire population system has become is connected from practical needs and values of Americans, suggesting that its voting power stemmed as much from a populist sense of outrage in a tough economic movement as it did from ideology. What many of its adherents want as much as anything is for the two parties to come together to solve problems."

Some want to see gridlock in government and they even go as far as to say that they are no more interested or are tired of any other laws(Or are they tired of the Constitution?). Faced with legislative issues facing the Congress, the Tea PartyBaggers might be able to influence the 2012 Presidential elections, and hope not to fall captive to it.

And just as Tea Party(Baggers) supporters do not always agree on what the agenda is, most Americans disagree with many of the goals proclaimed by the Tea Party(Bagger) candidates. (Zernike) [MSNBC showed a poll of those who do not approve of the Tea Party(Baggers) to be 30%, and those who approve of it to be 41%.

A New York Times/CBS poll last month similarly found opposition to raising the retirement age or reducing Social Security or Medicare benefits for future retirees. And a plurality of voters disagreed with what is perhaps the Tea Party Baggers movement's most widely supported goal: repealing the healthcare overhaul passed in March.

Some members of the Tea Party(Baggers) say although their list of their agenda was to change Social security, Medicare, cutting military budget, replacing income tax with flat tax — all ideas that they have raised have been voted down, firmly, before, and they acknowledge that their aim of repealing health care legislation, they cannot see any compromise in doing that, from most social quarters.

Some of the Tea Party(Baggers) members have clearly stated that there will be no room for compromise and that they want the health care bill and estate tax to be repealed (This idea stems from the billionaires clique who have inherited their wealth, as we shall see in this hub), and they want the Bush-era tax cuts be made permanent. They also aver that the Republican Party is on probation.

But as the Tea Party(Baggers) allowed Republicans to win in enthusiasm, it will still have a relatively small caucus in the House and the Senate. With control of Congress split, Republicans have to work with Democrats to get things done. Tea Party(Baggers) lawmakers who refuse to go along, may find they become irrelevant.

But as things are changing, we begin to see that the promises the Tea Baggers made to ease into Washington, are not necessarily being kept, and their followers seem to realize that too, as one sees the reportage that is done in the contemporary media, as to what is now happening to the elected Tea Baggers within the Halls of Congress and Senate, to date is that they have become unpopular with the American people.

Rear View Mirror Mindset: Hindsight is 20/20

Corporations and the Rich Seem to not Need America Anymore

Obama aptly surmised the paradox of his rule when he told Jon stewart that, "We have done things that people don't even know." What does he mean? Looking at some of things would help paint a picture of how and why Obama did what he did. Obama took over government at the point where the Bush bailouts had resuscitated the banking system with a $700 billion. Obama tried to save the auto industry.

The auto industry is now planning for more plants and are making money by making many cars. As the auto industry was going to be liquidated, 1 million jobs would have disappeared. In an article by the Economist, which opposed the $86 billion auto bailout, it stated "An apology is due Barack Obama," The Economist further states that, "As for Government Motors: after emerging from bankruptcy, it is now going public with a new stock offering in just a few weeks, and the United States government, with its sixty percent share of common stock, stands to make a profit.

Yes, an industry was saved, and the government will probably make money on the deal - one of Obama's signature economic successes. Interest rates are at record lows. Corporate profits are lighting up boardrooms; it is one of the best years for earnings in a decade for the multi-corporations. In his first two years, Obama passed a law that makes life easier for millions of people, and he had financial reforms that that attempted to level the playing field with Wall Street, and the $814 billion stimulus package — have all been recast as big government blunders by the emerging Tea Baggers' opposition.

"What Obama did was to recast himself as the consumer's best friend, and welcome the animus of Wall Street. He should hector the companies sitting on piles of cash but not hiring new workers. For those who do hire, and create new jobs, he has offered tax incentives. He should finger the financial giants for refusing to clean up their own mess in the foreclosure crisis Obama has pointed to the long overdue protections for credit card holders that came with reforms he has initiated since he took the reins of power.

"Of course, this comes on the heels of the big money interests who have shown no appreciation for the Constitution and American Democracy (which they have indicated that would like to change or alter — italics mine). Their response was to give themselves $165 million in executive bonuses". Private interests funneled money to different states in form of donations and sponsored $4 billion worth of television and other ads in an effort to regain power.

"Whose power? it is the power of corporate and monied interests who ship jobs overseas, and the American people are left jobless, homeless, without health care and no prospect of immediate job creation. The gravy train is rolling for the manipulators of great wealth, while pretending that they are carrying a capitalist war on business, and in the same tone denying the fact that Obama saved capitalism, and this helped to cost him the mid-term elections" (Timothy Egan)

The points above have been stark in a stark and clearer manner by Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post as follows: "The first American president takes office, and almost immediately we see the birth of a big, passionate national movement — overwhelmingly White and lavishly funded — that tries its best to delegitimize that president, seeks to thwart his every initiative, and manages to bring the discredit and moribund opposition party roaring back to life. Coincidence? Not a chance. But also not that simple. One thing that struck me from the beginning about the Tea Party(Baggers) rhetoric is the idea of reclaiming something that has been taken away."

Eugene adds this about what Mike Huckabee said to his supporters: "help return American government to the American people." Robinson adds: "Who's in possession of the government, if not the American people? The non-American people? The Un-American people? There's an obvious answer, but that generally comes from the progressive end of the political spectrum: Americans must fight to take their government from the lobbyists and big-money special interests that shape our laws to suit their own interests, not for the good of the nation.

That may be what some Tea Partiers'(Baggers) have in mind, but the movement hasn't seen fit to make campaign finance reform one of its major issues, (nor have given ideas about how they were going to create jobs-my addition). And the establishment Republicans who are surfing the Tea Party(Baggers) wave — while at the same time scheming to co-opt the movement — would view the idea of taking money out of politics with horror,if they thought it might actually happen.

Robinson continues to add: "So, who stole the government? What makes some people feel more disenfranchised now than they were, say, during the presidency of George Bush? I have to wonder what it is about Obama that provokes and sustains all this Tea Party's(Bagger's) ire. I wonder how he can be seen as "elitist," when he grew up in modest circumstances — his mother was on food stamps for a time — and paid for his fancy-pants education with student loans.

"I wonder how people who genuinely cherish the American Dream can look at a man who lived that dream and feel no connection, no empathy. I ask myself what's so different about Obama, and the answer is pretty obvious: He's black(African?-My addition). For whatever reason, I think this makes some people unsettled, anxious, even suspicious — witness the willingness of so many to believe absurd conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace, his religion and even his absent father's supposed Svengali-like influence from the grave.

"Obama has made mistakes that rightly cost him political support. But I can't help believing that the Tea Party's(Bagger's) rise was partly due to circumstances beyond his control that he's different from other presidents, and the difference is his race."

By the way, there is some form of denial to the statements made above, and that the elections were not about race, but a referendum on Obama's policies. Policies which were sabotaged and designed to be his waterloo(Dement?), Obama will be hounded to the extent that he fails (Republican project against Obama when he begun to rule?)

This passion and vitriol witnessed as displayed by the Tea Baggers for close to about two years of Obama's rule, boiled down and over as the first black president took office. There is a lot of hate to go about around the Tea Baggers shenanigans, and any time people like Eugene Robinson express their Democratic free speech rights about issues they do not like, they are assailed as being bigoted and wearing blinders.

Some come up with accusations that Obama called his grandmother "typical white person," or cite Obama's statement that he made now recently when telling Latinos to "punish their enemies"; some state that Obama should look beyond seeing whites in ways that are negative, and should see that the race card is not played by White people; that Obama is arrogant, sounds condescending and so forth. If Americans were living in a post-racial world, comments like these would be understandable.

They are nothing but denials of the fact that the changing politics of Realpolitik in America are part of the old stratagem of saying that no racism exists in America, and that the election of Obama proves that(we shall see this as we discuss racism in this hub), racism does not exists in America today, and that the most affluent in America should get tax-brakes.

This is far from the truth because if one were following the results and responses to his presidency, which are tinged with racist perceptions and are fueled by a "review mirror" perspective which in this case, looks at what is present, and is going to happen in the future, and look back to the time of when white males ruled and are now pining to return to the days of the "Good Old Boys" who ruled America without interference from women, minorities and foreigners, and so on.

This, if discussed too, raises the ire of those who proclaim to want to "take their country back," that is, since Obama came into power, and, by the way, take the country back from whom?1, they claim that everything that has gone wrong in America is because of Obama. This question has still not yet been answered, and it is important at this stage to examine the role played by corporations in the founding and revival of the Tea Baggers.

Domestic and International Corporate Imperialism

It is important at this juncture to dig deeper into the form and nature of corporation's involvement in a broader definitional and historical pattern and take a look at a domestic case study of a multi-corporation entity. On no other subject is the gulf between the interests, perspective and position for the corporation even more potentially greater and pregnant with passion and violent conflict, than are those present in the role of domestic and international corporate operations for the interest of corporations and monied interests and their investors.

The rules of international law, the principles of international economics, and the science of international politics can clarify the issues involved and provide arguments for the claims of the contending parties But they cannot yield solutions that are"neutral" or free of value judgements and philosophical assumptions which reflect and affect the interests of the contending parties in different degrees.

The question is one in which realpolitik has always been a dominant, if not decisive, factor. In this case, a clarification which realpolitik is the one we are facing at present, and what is it all about and who is in charge of all its aspect of policy making and applications and so on-would be in order here.

From the colonial times, when imperialism was asserting itself worldwide, it freely availed itself to property and the cheap labor of the colonized people. These people from Africa, Australia and the native Americans have never been compensated for their lands and natural material and mineral wealth forcibly acquired by the colonists through trickery and murder of the locals.

This pattern of violence is still around and presently being applied to through domestic economical, political and so forth, policies, that in the end, the expropriation of American labor, along with that of the Third World, is going on mercilessly and unchecked under the auspices of the multi-corporation and other moneyed interests throughout the world and in the USA.

It is rather that the destructive effects of the European impact to the characteristics of the systems erected to service the European interests, have adversely affected the colonized. It is true that by today's standards, the level of material and technological development of Third world peoples were low at the time of the European impact.

But the poverty of the ghetto, slum, Indian reservation, the native reserves and the poor Peoples Public Housing Projects is immeasurably worse, qualitatively and quantitatively-than the poverty of the self-sufficient, self-regulating communities of the past.

How this is achieved and comes about, Rodney had this to say about the European/African slave trade in Africa: "When one tries to measure the effect of European slave trading on the African continent, it is very essential to realize that one is measuring the effect of social violence rather than trade in any normal sense."

The depopulation of the African communities, the decline of African agriculture and manufacturing industry, a general shift in social and state activity to slave raiding, kidnapping and fratricidal wars, which went on for over three hundred years, have had severe effects in the East, Central and Southern Africa.

The havoc reigned upon these people, along with those in the Americas, Latin America and South America, things like conquest, plunder, forced labor, taxation, and forced specialization in an export monoculture, reversed the relative positions, and these peoples and their lands were progressively reduced to underdevelopment too. 20 million people were decimated in the Congo, physically, economically and culturally by the primitive exploitation of the Leopoldian "system." It is estimated that at least 10 million died as a result of this system in the twenty-year period between 1891 and 1911(Morel),more than the number of Jews killed in Hitler's concentration camps.

The case of the Congo is but one amongst the many other such types of murderous extermination of a people, and in the meantime, these colonists made untold riches which have continued to be the foundation capital of the modern imperial corporate wealth. We will not break this down in this hub, but will state that, the financial power of the multi-corporations need to be looked at in-depth in order to learn how they rule over big governments like the that of the USA.

(I.e., How corporations have become the second government in America, or around the world, as will be discussed in this hub), and how they utilize their influence to make sure that their interests are served to the maximum. For the corporations to maximize their profits, they have to have their feelers in all aspects of the society, and in the end take up power to further advance their interest, uninhabited, and unimpeded.

The Coming of the Firm: Corporate Imperialism

The emergence of monopoly capitalism in the petroleum, copper, and aluminum industries was marked by a number of characteristics common to all three. First, it was associated with rapid technological change in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in the capitalist countries, particularly.

Such technological change had the effect of establishing these industries on a large scale; they produced essential inputs for the expanding industrial system and enjoyed a high rate of growth. Before this time, while oil, copper, and aluminum were produced, this production took place on a very small scale and at high cost, and was based largely on rich and easily worked deposits of basic material, such as surface seepages or oil and deposits of high-grade copper ores.

Between the 1860s and 1900, however, a revolution in production technology took place which made available supplies that were not only quantitatively greater but qualitatively different.

The development of drilling techniques enabled subterranean oil to be brought to the surface; induced changes in the technology of refining and new methods of transport made it possible to move oil over long distances. Ores that contained so little copper that they were once considered worthless were brought into production by changes in the technology of mining and refining.Aluminum metal began to be produced in commercial qualities for the first time. (Girvan)

The changes on the supply side were partly the cause and partly the effect of changes on the demand side, in which technology also played an important part. In oil and aluminum, it was the break-throughs in the technology of production in the 1850s and 1880s, respectively, that stimulated new uses and the search for new markets; in copper, the rapid growth of demand for wire resulting from the emergence of the electricity industry in the 1880s sparked the drive to mine and teat low-grade ores on a large scale.

Subsequently, technical changes on both the demand and the supply side interacted with cumulative effects. Thus, the automobile revolution in the early 1900s created explosive growth demands fro the products of all three industries, and this induced further technical changes on the supply side. Accompanying these changes was a revolution in economic organization which was no less significant.

By the early 1900s, the large number of small, single-stage, local firms in the petroleum and copper industries had been displaced by a small number of large, vertically integrated firms, national in scope and with oligopolistic market control. In aluminum, monopoly of metal production was a feature of the industry from the outset because of Alcoa's acquisition of the patent rights, and the company soon set about integrating itself backward into raw material extraction and forward into fabrication.

It appears that the emergence of the integrated, oligopolistic firm was an inherent and possibly indispensable part of the revolution that took place in the scale of production and demand, in the level of technology, and in the quantity of capital utilized in production. With much more capital committed to production on a much larger scale, firms had to minimize the risks of investment and make sure that their facilities operated at full capacity by acquiring their own raw materials supplies and market outlets.

All stages of production and marketing had to be brought as far as possible within the bounds of corporate control. Those firms that got a head start because of strategic control over one stage of the industry or over production technology, because of capitalistic foresight and initiative, or because of a combination of all three, were able, in one way or another, were able to absorb the weaker and more vulnerable firms. This process continued until a small number of large firms faced one another, each with its own supplies of raw materials and its own market outlets.

At that point, they discovered that their competitive struggles could be profitably diluted with collusive market control, that is, cartel arrangements to maintain prices and profits by restraining output. What usually set the limit on the entry firms or provided the opportunities for new entrants was the scarcity or availability of the natural resources indispensable for profitable production.

Thus, the discovery of new copper deposits in Montana in 1880s provided the basis for the new Anaconda company to break the control of the Lake Michigan producing pool; the discovery of the Texas oil fields at the turn of the century made it possible for the Texas Company and Gulf Oil to challenge the hegemony of Standard Oil.

In contrast, Alcoa's control of bauxite deposits and hydroelectric resources helped effectively to prevent the entry of new companies into the United States industry until after World War II, when Jamaican deposits began to be used by Reynolds and Kaiser. (Chandler)

The transnational corporation embodies not only a pattern of economic relationships but also a pattern of domination, as expressed by the power relations within it. Raw materials operations have to be subjected to the absolute control of the patent firm, for they are the basis upon which rests the whole edifice of production and marketing, and hence of capital accumulation.

The transnational corporation not only has tremendous resources of finance and technology, it also has an enormous flexibility growing out of the fact that its operations are based in a large number of countries. Such flexibility and the integrated nature of its operations give it a wide range of options to shift accounting profits, and ultimately new investment and even existing production facilities, from one country to another. Outsourcing of jobs from America to other countries follows this model.

Furthermore, the transnational corporation normally enjoys a close relationship with the government of its home country — which means that the center country's government will bring pressure to bear on the peripheral government in the interests of the firm. This can mean, in turn, that the government in the peripheral country will pressure the labor force in the interest of the local subsidiary of the corporation.

In many cases, these subsidiaries become a government of the country wherein they are extracting or stealing raw materials, subverting locally elected governments, and this is the Corporate Imperial way. In the case of the Koch Brothers, they are now attempting to take over the American government in a brazen act to grab power, and along with other corporations, try to take over power("reclaiming the country-taking it back"), for as we can now see, courtesy of the 2010 election, that their actions and solutions offer an even much more sinister intent.

The Stealth of the Corporate Imperial Policy

Neither liberals nor conservatives seem to have anything to say about economic imperialism as practiced throughout the world and domestically by corporate and financial interests and entities in the United States and other capitalist countries. Most liberals nor conservatives, be they political leaders, academics, or media commentators, do not believe imperialism exists. They never consider whether capitalism as a global system has any integral relationship to US foreign policy.

Although both liberals and conservatives agree that there is something in the world called "US interests," which, while seldom defined, are always thought of as being in urgent need of defense and morally defensible. It is implicitly understood that these "interests" are linked in some way to the freedom and salvation of humanity.

Liberals and conservatives, also seem to agree that something called stability in the Third World is better than "instability" — that is, better than agitation and change, even tough it is sometimes admitted that change is needed in one or another oppressively impoverished country — and this idea is now being applied domestically in the United, by the Koch brothers and their conservative billionaire friends and other monied interests.

Liberals, and to a far lesser extent, conservatives — recognize that much instability is due to poverty, but they give little recognition to imperialism and capitalism as a cause of poverty, and any attempt to do so is treated as ideological posturing. On one hand, the liberals complain that US policy is often misguided or overextended, or prone to backing the wrong persons and wrong interests abroad, or given to self-defeating pursuits.

Conservatives frequently complain, as already noted, that US policy suffers from timidity and faintheartedness, and unwillingness to commit American military power and stand up to communists(during the old War era), and in the latter days, to Moslem terrorists like Al-Qaeda and their offshoots in the middle East.

It is very important at this juncture to state the fact that US policy is neither fainthearted nor foolish, beset by neither failure nor folly. Rather, it is powerful and coercive, and usually effective in its undertakings. And while it makes mistakes and suffers defeats, it is quite rational in its goals and resourceful in its methods.

Many of the official explanations given to justify American abroad may be false, but this does not mean the policies themselves are senseless. Many of the arguments in defense of such policies may be confusing — and are meant to be — but this does not mean the policies or policymakers themselves are confused.

This can be seen in the case that will be discussed, and in this case, we are looking at corporate imperialism as it asserts itself into domestic policy and realpolitik. The great realities about capitalism, interventionism(even domestically), militarism and the East-West conflict the US is now involved in. This interrogation of the East-West conflict will reveal that the US foreign policy has suffered defeats and made mistakes, but has generally been consistent and successful.

The same is going to happen with the present domestically as it has been espoused and retorted consistently during the election, and being pursued, by the incoming Republican Freshmen-sponsored and financed by Koch Industries, thus applying all the policies and ideas that are promulgated by David Koch and his brother. This will be examined fully below.

This may not be serving the interests of the Third world, nor even the American people domestically, the policies of the conservative ultra-right are now being in infiltrated and applied in the government, thus serving those who know how to be well served. This, by the way, is not a criticism of the US, namely, the White House, the National Security Council, The Central Intelligence Agency, and the members of Congress, — is to do the American thing; it is hard-won democratic right and remain part of what it means to be an American. To raise, as American people, voices in protest.

The "ruling Class," the "Propertied Class," "The Owning Class," the "Dominant Interests," and the "Corporate Interests, meaning, the rich and powerful who own most of the land, capital, and technology of this nation(and internationally)(as briefly discussed in the history of the creation of the firm), who employ most of its labor, and who translate their immense economic power into a lion's share of political power, occupying the top policymaking positions of both boardroom and government, regardless of which political party or personality occupies the White House-are the real mainstay of power in the US and throughout the world.

Historical Rumination on the Imperial Culture

A restatement of Imperialistic Corporate culture will be in order here: "More than a matter of 'planting the flag,' imperialism is a system of forcibly expropriating the land, the labor, resources, and markets of other countries. It monopolizes the markets and resources of entire regions, and acts as a usurious creditor for increasingly indebted. Attached to no country,International finance capital is a distant ruler over outwardly sovereign states. While it has suffered setbacks, US policy has been successful.

It has been capable of a ruthless assertion of power, frequently unconstrained by humanitarian considerations. US imperialism has a harrowing arsenal of nuclear weaponry, and a growing accumulation of conventional firepower that is approaching the nuclear level in its destructive capacity(See Michel Klare in a book edited byJoseph Gerson) US policymakers have deployed troops, fleets, and bombers, and have waged wars from Indochina, right up to Iraq Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They have promoted counterrevolutions, counterinsurgency, and political repression — complete with death-squad assassinations, torture, and terror — in scores of nations and have overthrown democratic governments in bloody coups. They have engaged (and are still engaged) in massive military spending, and have now with images of a "Red Tide," frightening cold war confrontations, to terrorism (today) which is being engaged-in and carried-out and saturated the American psyche and the political world. (Robert Tucker, 1971; Albert Szymanski, 1979)

Top policymakers are drawn predominantly from the major corporation and from policy groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee for Economic Development, the Trilateral Commission, the Business Roundtable, and the Business Council. Membership in these groups consists of financiers, business executives, and corporate lawyers. Some also have a sprinkling of foundation directors, news editors, university presidents, and academicians. Most prominent is the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR). Incorporated in 1921, the CFR numbered among it founders big financiers such as John D. Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, and JP Morgan.

Since World War, CFR members have included David Rockefeller, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank (and erstwhile CFR; Allen Dulles), Wall Street lawyer and longtime director of the CIA; and in the 1970s, all the directors of Tri-Continental holding company; eight directors of Chase Manhattan; and directors from each of the following; Mellon National Bank, Bank of America, General Motors, Chrysler, Standard Oil of New Jersey.

General Electric, Union Carbide, IBM, AT&T, ITT, and the New York Times(a partial listing)Laurence Shoup and William Minter, 1977) Members of groups Relations and the Trilateral Commission have served in just about every top executive position, including most cabinet and sub cabinet slots, and have at times virtually monopolized the membership of the National Security Council, the national's highest official policymaking body.

These policymakers are drawn from overlapping corporate circles and policy groups that have a capacity unmatched by any other interest groups in the United States to fill top government posts with persons from their ranks. To further understand this issue, we will now Look into the role Koch Industries play in American business, Realpolitik and policy making, today.

The Piper Who Plays the Tunes: Kochtopus

The narrative above is at attempt to show the same vicious strategies of increasing corporate control of government, that is, how these corporations are in tandem in trying achieve the same results with the same efficiency and brutality, even though we have barely entered into the 2t century.

When imperial domination is imposed upon a people, Imperialism's history there has been much savagery and violence but almost all of it has been perpetrated by foreign usurpers. Think of what theSpaniards did in South America; the Portuguese in Angola and Mozambique; the British in China, India, and Ireland; the Belgians in the Congo; the Germans is South West Africa(Namibia, today); the Dutch East Indies; the French in North Africa and Indochina; the Japanese in Manchuria, and Korea, and China; the Italians in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Libya; and the Americans in the Philippines, Central America, Indo China, and North America itself(against the Native American Indians[Red men], Mexicans and African Americans).

Imperialism, by establishing military supremacy, the European and North American colonizers who were able to eliminate the rafts and industries of the Third world peoples, control their markets, extort tribute, undermine their cultures, destroy their villages, steal their lands and natural resources, enslave their labor, and accumulate vast wealth, are today setting their sights on taking over American political, economical and democracy and Military supremacy to safe-guard their interests and ideology

Brief History of a Particular Corporation

The colonization of the Third World by European and north American powers is often treated as a "natural" phenomenon, involving "development" and "dependency" and "specialization" of markets. Imperialism achieves through brutal force, as observed several time above. Empires do not "naturally" develop, nor do they emerge innocently 'in a fit of absentmindedness,' as was said of the British empire.

Rather, they are welded together with deceit, fraud, blood, and sorrow. They are built upon the sword, whip, and the gun. Today, the gun, deceit, fraud and sorrow are the main weapons utilized by the Corporations and the moneyed interests in under-developing (shipping jobs overseas) and making the American people poor through legislation and other political cut-throat means.

They are doing this today by gaining a foothold(in the case of the US, 'taking over government' and outsourcing), military clashes and build up(Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan Wars), Peace Councils and Treaties(China, Korea, Libya and so forth), Divide and Conquer(Groups like the Tea Parties, and other organizations, use of mercenaries(usage of these by private companies attached to the US military brand), Imperial cooperation(to avoid fighting, imperialist often cooperate and coordinate their efforts in carving up continents and subduing indigenous people), and exploiting their army of workers and so forth, sponsor and fund missionaries.

In some cases advocate the final solution in a form of genocide to the indigenous. In this instance, we will be looking at the role played by the Koch Industries in shaping American politics, psyche and proposed government change as one of the many such corporations who are in the process of changing American Realpolitik and the economical landscape — and capitalism as we know it.

Koch Industries, one of the top ten air polluters in the United States, was identified by the Greenpeace as a "kingpin of climate science denial.' Jane Mayer informs us that, "In Washington. Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the Federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge.

The Koch's operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries own Brawny paper towel, Dixie Cups, Georgia-Pacific Lumber, Stain Master carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it the second largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles-who, years ago, bought out two other brothers-among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gate and Warren Buffett. (Mayer)

Mayer adds: "The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry — especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brother's corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the Massachusetts at Amherst's Political economy Research Institute.

"The green peace issued a report that showed that, from 2005-2008, the Koch's vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies-from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program-that, in political circles and parlance, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

"They have turn its influence on America and their family into 'whipping boys,' and had exaggerated its influence on American politics. Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, "The Kochs are on a whole different level. There's no one who has spent this much money.The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I have been in Washington since Watergate, and I have never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times."

The potentates of Koch Industries have bunched up with other billionaires who are trying to convince Americans that the TeaBaggers are a grassroots movement, whereas they(Kochs) are the ones bankrolling and greasing its existence and functioning. The Koch brother gave the money that funded it. It's like they put the seeds in the ground.

Then the rainstorms came, and the frogs came out of the mud-and they made them candidates, and this was said by a Republican campaign consultant. According to Mayer, the Kochs and their operatives declined requests for an interview. They have friends like George Pataki, publisher and estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman.

According to Mayer's informant, a Republican consultant who said this about the family's activities, "To call them under the radar is an understatement. They are underground!" Another former Koch advisor said, "They are smart. This rightwing stuff worked for them. They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves." Rob Stein, a Democratic political strategist who has studied the conservatives movement's finances, said that, "The Kochs are at the epicenter of the anti-Obama movement. But it's not just about Obama. They would have done the same to Hillary Clinton. They did the same with Bill Clinton. They are out to destroy progressivism."

Mayer digs in into the historical origins of the Kochs: "oddly enough, the fiercely capitalist Koch family owes part of its fortune to Joseph Stalin. Fred Koch was the son of a printer who settled in Texas and ran a weekly newspaper. Fred attended M. I. T. , where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. In 1927 he invented an efficient process of converting oil into gasoline,

"According to family lore, he was denied a job because major oil companies regarded him as a threat and shut him out of the industry. In the 1930 his company trained Lenin's Bolsheviks and helped Stalin's regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries. Stalin brutally purged several of Koch's Soviet ColleaguesGus DeZerega, a former friend of Charles Koch recalled, "As the Soviets became a stronger military power, Fred felt a certain amount of guilt at having build them up. I think it bothered him a lot." He married Mary Robinson and His sons were David whom was sent to the academy, and Charles to a military college.

"Charles, David and William all earned engineering degrees at their father's alma mater, M. I. T. , and later joined the family company. Charles eventually assumed control with David as his deputy; Williams career at the company was less successful. Freddie went to Harvard and studied Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama. His father reportedly disapproved of him, and punished him financially[Freddie, through a spokesperson , denied this]. (Mayer)

According to DeZerega, David and Charles absorbed their father's conservative views, but did not share all his views. Instead, they followed a wayward intellectual trajectory. They transferred their fathers's paranoia about Soviet Communism to a distrust of the US Government, and seeing its expansion government. Their father constantly spoke to them when they were children was about what was wrong with the government. David conceded that, "It was something I grew up with — a fundamental point of view that big government was bad, add imposition of government controls on our lives and economic fortunes was not good."

We are beginning to see the foundation of the Tea Party ideology and demands when we look a little much more closer at the Koch brothers and the evolution of their thinking as it pertains to the kind of influence they are wielding in their creation of the movement. Mayer notes Charles and David Koch were influenced by the work of Friedrich von Hayek who authored "The Road to Serfdom" which argued that centralized government planning led, inexorably, to totalitarianism.

Lately, the Tea bagger(Party) supporters have championed his work; even Glenn Beck has thanked Charles Koch for the book which he was peddling. The Koch brothers also became devotee of a radical thinker, Robert LeFevre who did not like the label or call himself an "anarchist", but preferred to be called an "autarchist." LeFevre states: According to Brian Doherty, of Reason, "LeFevre was an anarchist figure who won Charles's heart." LeFevre, who favored the abolition of the state, liked to say that, "Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure."

According to Mayer, the brothers later ha a run-in with each other. William and Freddie tried to take over the company after complaining, and William and Freddie were on one side as were David and Charles. Charles and David ended up buying the bother's stocks for nearly a billion dollars. Eventually Freddie moved to Monaco and bought historic estates in France, Austria and elsewhere; William founded his own energy company, Oxbow, and turned to yachting leaving Charles as the undisputed chairman and CEO, that Roger Altman observed.

Mayer further informs us: "As their fortunes grew, Charles and David Koch became the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarian politics in America. They wanted to 'tear the government' at the root'. After they backed Ed Clark who was running against Reagan, they became frustrated by the legal limits on campaign donations, they then contrived a slot for David who ran on the slogan, "The libertarian Party has only one source of funds: "Its primary source of funds was David Koch, who spent more than two million for that effort.

"Many of the ideas propounded in 1980 presaged the Tea Party movement. The Libertarian platform called for the abolition of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., as well as federal regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Energy. The Party wanted to end Social Security, minimum-wage laws, gun control, and all personal corporate income taxes; it proposed the legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs and suicide."

"Government should be reduced to only one function: the protection of individual rights.William F. Buckley, Jr., a traditional conservative, called the movement Anarcho-Totalitarianism." (Mayer) This is going on with the debate of either the US government should go over the 'fiscal cliff' or not-but the demands and belligerent voices from the US right have been insistent on these or some of the issues listed above.

According to Dohetry's book, The Kochs came to regard elected politicians as merely "actors playing out a script." After the 1980 election they begun to pour out more than a hundred million dollars of seemingly independent organizations. Tax records of 2008 three main foundations of the Koch's gave money to thirty-four political and policy organizations, political campaigns, advocacy groups, and lobbyists.

The family's subterranean has Lee Fang, of the liberal blog ThinkProgress, call the Kochs "the billionaires behind the hate." Le Fang states: "Charles Koch, about ten years go, compared himself to the theologian Martin Luther and he said he's bringing a right wing radical free-market reformation to this country. (Recall Glenn Beck calling himself Martin Luther?)

"So, you know, like when Fred Koch, the father, did this to President Kennedy, funding the John Birch Society, and they also did it to Clinton, funding the attack groups and the rallies on Capitol Hill, smearing Hillary Clinton. They are doing it to Barack Obama. But they're going to keep on doing it."

Media Matters has reported that the Koch brothers founded Cato, citizens for a Sound Economy; Charles founded the Cato Institute while David co-funded Citizens for a Sound Economy, which is now known as FreedomWorks. Media Matters further states that the Koch foundations fund numerous right-wing organization.

Media Matters further informs us that Koch foundations — which include the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David H. Charitable foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation - "make substantial annual contributions to these organizations (more than $12 million to each between 1985 and 2002, as well as to other influential conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, media organization, academic institutes, and legal organizations, thus participating in every level of the policy process."

The Tea Party is bought and paid for by big oil. The history of the development of corporate imperialism gives a historical background of the primitive beginnings of the firm, and how this gave rise to the Kochtopus.

Think Progress stated: "Kochs are the wealthiest, and perhaps the most effective opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda. They have been looming in background of every major domestic policy dispute this year(the year being 2009). Think Progress further notes that: " At the dawn of the Obama Presidency, Koch Groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of legislation: the Stimulus Package.

The Koch-funded "No Stimulus" launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply "pork" spending. The Cato Institute - funded by Charles - as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus. David's Americans for Prosperity(AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama Presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first 'tea party' protests.

David Koch, one of Fred Kochs sons, has been exposed as the founder and primary financier of Dick Armey's FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, two groups heavily involved in organizing and enabling the tea party movement. Koch and his brother Charles are also responsible for the funding that established the Cato Institute, were the leading funders of hundreds of anti-healthcare reform groups, and from 2005 to 2008, actually outspent ExxonMobile in supporting right wing groups that opposed climate change legislation.

The Koch family foundations, along with a number of other fringe right-wing billionaires (all of whom inherited, rather than earned their money) are on the lists of the largest contributors to virtually every right-wing think-tank and issue group in the country. In addition to the Koch Family foundations, look at the primary funding for these groups and you see over and over, the Richard Mellon Scalfe family foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley family foundation, Adolf Coors' Castle Rock Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the JM Foundation, the Earhart Foundation and a couple of others.

This handful of fabulously wealthy right wing fringe billionaires have financed virtually the entire conservative and neoconservative movements in this country — all for the sloe purpose of preserving, protecting, and increasing their already staggering wealth at the expense of the very people they use as 'sock puppets and dupes', the Tea Parties, the fundamentalist Christian values groups, the Libertarian and Free Market groups, and the anti-tax (for billionaires),groups, which include virtually the entire Republican leadership as we see them fighting to desperately to reallocate the massive tax cuts to the top 2% (most of which go to the top 0.1%) that they themselves voted into law in 2001 with a drop-dead date of 12/31/2010.

They had to put a sunset date on the bill because, despite their misinterpretation of tax cuts for the rich spurring the economy (the tax cuts actually earned about 7 cents in new revenue for every dollar lost in tax revenue for a net loss of 93 cents for ever dollar of tax cuts — exploding the deficit), they knew that would balloon the deficit, and federal law required that any deficit buster bill include an end date.

The very fact that they felt it was necessary to include the end date to make the bill legal was a de facto admission by Boehner and the other Republicans who enacted the bill that they knew fully well it was, in fact, a deficit buster. And now, the Kochs and their sock puppets are running the Republican Party and campaigning on a platform that's essentially, "Let's change everything back to the way it was in mid-2007 under Bush, before the Great Recession(Second Depression?) started. (Media Matters)

The Innards of the Octopus

Lee Fang adds: "David Koch, an oil and gas billionaire who is the 9th richest person in the United States," according to Forbes Magazine, "was simultaneously responsible for a 100 million refurbished opera house and a protest that featured signs comparing health reform to the Holocaust."

The two sides to Koch's activism aren't unique — they harken to a long tradition of conservative tycoons who were great philanthropists with one hand and ruthless power-brokers with the other. But the Koch's hidden presence in the healthcare debate illustrates the extent to which the Old Right is creating — and then hiding behind — the grassroots fervor of middle-class opponents of health reform. Shortly before the Birch Society, David Koch founded Americans for Prosperity in 1984 (then known as Citizens for Sound economy) alluded to above.

Americans for Prosperity still portrays itself as a defender of freedom and the average Joe. On the Americans for Prosperity website, financial regulations, health reform, net neutrality, and the estate tax are all assailed as forms of socialism. David Koch has contributed greatly to the obstruction of universal health care, the denial of climate change, and the derailment of much of President Obama's domestic agenda. The Tea Bagger were used as a battering ram against the policies of Obama in the past 2 years of his Presidency

Lee continues to write that, "Americans for Progress has been encouraging right-wing activists to board their busses - free of charge, - to attend rallies. While AFP does not disclose all of its corporate donors, foundations controlled by David Koch provide millions in yearly funding, and David continues to chair the AFP foundation and preside over AFP's annual convention.

"Anyone can go and check out The Washington Independent National News in Context, follow-up on the Video under the title "David Koch Defending the American Dream Summit": watch the Video. David Koch's AFP has a long history of marshaling "grassroots" support for GOP objectives.

In the early 1990s, AFP, then known as Citizens for a Sound Economy, worked *secretly*[Read 'Online Forum' dubbed 'A Detailed Timeline of the Health Care Debate portrayed in the System' with then] - Rep. Gingrich (R-GA) to organize angry crowds following the Clintons as they touted their health bill. Industry money from health insurance, telecommunications, oil, and other companies has 'flowed freely' - Read 'A detailed Timeline of the Shill Enterprise.'

The topic is "A public Citizen Report on Citizens for a Sound Economy: A Corporate Lobbying Group," October 6, 2000 to AFP over the years to help AFP promote an agenda boosting the rich, stripping consumer safeguards, and maintaining corporate monopolies. Phillip Morris rented out AFR from the Koch's family, contributing millions to the organization in exchange for AFR to Build opposition [3] *(Article was in RollingStone, seems to have been moved-(Try visiting RollingStone.com) to tobacco regulations*.

AFP's daily activities are managed by Tim Phillips, (See and read on the website The Wonk Room(Think Progress) article entitled "Tim Phillips, The Man Behind The 'Americans for Prosperity' Corporate Front (wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/05/20afp-timphillips-astroturf/)," an infamous astroturf lobbyist who built a career using Christian front groups to wage stealth campaigns.

For example, his work includes fighting under the radar, and delegating all the slogging to his foot-soldiers and workers, (see the same article by The Wonk Room Above), of promoting energy deregulation. (Lee Fang) This brings into focus and question as to the spontaneity of the "grass-roots" movement, which seems to be a well orchestrated move by the invested and moneyed interests in America.

It would help somewhat a lot if one were to look at the products of Koch Industries. These products can be found on the ReStckolt.com [restolcklt.com/georgoa-pacific.html]; see also Georgia-Pacific - nyjobsource.com/georgiapacific.html; also look up Georgia-Pacific - Janitorial,... www.gppro.com/index.aspx.

Georgia -Pacific EMEA for Europe, Middle East and Green Bay Operations at www.gp.com/greenbay/; Georgia Pacific Realty Corporation at 4 www.georgiapacific.ca/; Georgia-pacific Design Studio at http://gpdesignstudio.com/; Georgia Pacific Corporation's History at www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/GeorgiaPacific-Corporation-company.

History.html; Bloomberg Business Weekly at http://investing.buinessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapld=275119(It's Under the Topic, "Paper and Forest Products: Georgi-Pacific LLC; R&D: Georgia-Pacific Takes Over Alabama River and Alabama Pine Pulp Mills at www.rdmag.com/News/Feeds/2010/07/materials-Georgia-pacific-takes-over-Alabama-river-and-alaba/; Georgia -Pacific News Room/ News Releases.

Most recent company releases at www.gp.com.newsroom/newsreleases/index.html; Topix.com/forum/city/beckley-wv/T13DUJF4A2PC)1355. This is a tiny effort to give a smattering of websites to enable and give the reader the sense and operation of Georgia Pacific Industries and holdings in Yahoo! Finance: Industry Center - Lumber, Wood Production at biz.yahoo.com/ic/10/10648.html.

Jigsaw: Georgia-Pacific Company Director of Business Contacts - Business contacts at Georgia Pacific at www.jigsaw.com/id212943/gergia_pacific_company_directory.xhtml. One can google all these website number and then-some to get a sense of how large and what products does Koch Industries handles, and so forth. It is important to visit the website of Americans for Prosperity in order to understand the Americans

For Prosperity who, when one visiting their site, will find a state by state breakdown of how they intended to defeat big government politicians who did not heed the warnings they were talking about for the recently passed November mid-term elections.

Readers can go and read more in-depth about how they did it, state-by-state at http://americansforprospserity.org/110510-afp's-citizen-education-has-impact-across-country. Some of these sites give one a sense of how far their products have international effect and also, one gets a partial picture of their international holdings, and a way to understand their outsourcing, and where its being carried out throughout the world.

The site CorpWatch(Holding Corporations accountable) informs us, as published in Bloomberg.com., that: "Koch Industries Inc. agreed to buy Georgia Pacific Corp for 413 Billion, adding Dixie Paper cups, cardboard boxes and lumber to fuel and chemical businesses to become the largest privately held company in the US Koch will "pay $48 for each Georgia share, or 39 percent more than the sock's $34.65 closing price on Nov. 11 2005," the company said in a joint statement.

The transaction would be the biggest ever for, Kansas-based Koch. Koch has annual of more than $60 billion, compared to $19.66 billion at Georgia-Pacific. A combination of the two businesses would put Koch ahead of Cargill Inc., which had sales of $71.1 billion in the 12 months through June, and its Web site says, and currently ranks as the biggest closely held company in the US, according to Forbes Magazine. The purchase comes after Koch in May 200 acquired two mills in Brunswick, Georgia, and New Augusta, Mississippi, from Georgia-Pacific for $610 million.

The mills make fluff pulp used in diapers, baby wipes and sanitary products. Georgia-Pacific has been hurt by asbestos-related settlements,falling lumber rices and rising energy costs.It has sold paper and lumber mills to reduce debt to $7.94 billion. The tissue business represented 51 percent of Georgia-Pacific's $1.34 billion in pretax profit in the first quarters and "valuations for forestry are pretty low and there's still a lot of excess capacity out there, so this may be the first step in the round of consolidation we've been expecting," said Katja Keitaanniemi, an analyst at Eq Bank in Helsinki.

"The premium is pretty high though."(Corpwatch) A much more deeper study and look into Koch Industries will be considered for further discussions in the future. But a little bit more information about Koch Industries holding will be briefly added and discussed below.

Koch Industries expanded its oil refining and added ranching. It has interests in chemicals, fertilizer and asphalt, and in 2004 sold its Entegy Koch energy trading business to Merrill Lynch and Co. They also acquired an Alaska refinery and a 3 percent interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System from William Cos.

Chemicals business and assets from BP Pic, and fiber and polymers business from DuPoint Co. Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Brawny paper towels, competes with Procter & Gamble Co., Kimberley-Clark Corp., and Svenka Cellulosa AB in the tissue business. In North America, the company is the biggest plywood maker and third-biggest maker of boxes, used mostly in shipping.

Koch, in an open letter to Georgia -Pacific workers, said it reinvests as much as 90 percent of profits back into its business fuel growth. "Meanwhile, the Koch family has been linked to conservatives since the days of founder Fred Koch, who helped found the John Birch Society, which campaigned against communism in US Politics during the 1950s," Hoover said. As noted above, David Koch ran for US vice president on the Libertarian party ticket in 1980.

In the latter years, the company now planned on increasing the number of Tea Baggers in the US government and both houses. The Tea Baggers, along with the Republican Party have managed to secure the House of Representatives after the elections, and have threatened to carry-out their agenda of repealing most reforms, and shrinking the government.

The Tea baggers rhetoric really is a sounding board for the moneyed interests, as we have seen with the views espoused by David and Koch as described here in this hub above.

The Pinnochio's affects on theTea Party(Tea Baggers)

Welfare For The Rich

While lobbying may be used to represent and protect the legitimate interests of a group of citizens or segment of the society, lobbying as utilized by the corporate elite is often in effect tantamount to the purchase or leasing of the government. The extent to which big business has come to virtually dominate the government may be illustrated by an observation regarding the Reagan-Bush administration made by William Greider. In Ronald Reagan's White House, it was the office of the vice-president that was designated as the chief fixer for aggrieved business interests.

Reading about Dick Cheney and his Halliburton company would give the reader a much more better picture of who the vice President worked with big business. Industries that were unhappy with any federal regulations, existing or prospective, were instructed to alert George Bush and his lieutenants. The power of the White House would be employed to intimidate and squelch any regulatory agencies that seemed upsetting to American business.(Emphasis added).

Greider provides a succinct indication of the extent to which the monied interests have come to seek marked influence in the policymaking process though the enlargement of lobbying organizations "In 1970, only a handful of the Fortune 300 companies had public affairs offices in Washington.

"Ten years later, more than 80 percent did. In the same period, not coincidentally, business political action committee displaced labor as the largest source of campaign money. In 1974, Labor unions accounted for half of the PAC money; by 1980, they accounted for less than one fourth."(Greider — "Who Will Tell The People") The growth of business in lobbying interest shows the extent to which big business controls and still dictates to the government in the US

One of the major ways by which the ruling elite influences governmental operations and policies in ways favorable to its interests is through the employment and heavy use of lobbyists. Lobbyists are persons an organizations hired by various interest groups to influence legislative and governmental policies by

(a) gaining access to pertinent officeholders;

(b) attempting to shape officeholders' perceptions of issues by providing them with information that favors the interest group's concerns;

(c) providing the officeholders with arguments supportive of the lobbyist's own views;

(d) helping legislators to perform tasks normally done by congressional staff;

(e) drafting legislation, writing speeches and handling favorable publicity in the press for legislators and officeholders, and (f) the barely concealed bribing of officeholders. Parenti has this to say about the techniques of the lobbyists:

"Supposedly the techniques of 'modern' lobbyists consist of disseminating data and giving informative testimony before legislative committees rather than the obsolete tactics of secret deals and bribes. In fact, the development of new lobbying techniques have not brought an end to the older, cruder ones.

Along with the slick brochures, expert testimony and technical reports, corporate lobbyists still have the succulent campaign contributions, the secret slush funds, the "volunteer" campaign workers, the fat lecture fees, the stock awards and insider stock market tips, the easy-term loans, the high-paying corporate directorship upon retirement from office, the lavish parties and prostitutes, the prepaid vacation jaunts, the luxury hotels and private jets, the free housing and meals, and the many other hustling enticement of money.

'Many a financial undertaking on Capitol Hill,' writes Washington Columnist Jack Anderson, 'has been consummated in cold cash — that is, with envelopes or briefcases stuffed with greenbacks, a curious medium for honorable transactions.' (Michael Parenti)

Business Week magazine, October 21, 1988, in an article titled "Knights of the Business Roundtable" described some of the activities of organized business in arriving at consensus decision-making and influencing governmental processes. It noted that a few dozen of the country's top corporate chiefs met at an exclusive club in New York to discuss Public policy.

This business group composed of executives of companies the likes of IBM, Xerox, American Express, Exxon, DuPont, and Pepsico, who refer to themselves collectively as the BusinessRoundtable(as we have briefly discussed above in this Hub), cultivates contacts at the highest levels in Washington.

"The Business Roundtable," notes Business Week, "was founded in 1972 on notions that business and government share mutual interests and that government actions can have great impact on the bottom line. Membership in the Roundtable is limited to chief executes of almost 200 companies."

Business Week further noted that the policy committee of the Roundtable 'forges the broad positions and goals of Big Business. These positions, in turn, are conveyed directly to politicians [e.g., the vice-president and through him, the president[ and policy makers: no big support staff, no phalanx of hired lobbyists — just one-on-one.']

The Business Roundtable along with similar business organizations, industry trade groups, corporate Washington offices, corporate political action committees, corporate lawyers, broad-based business orientated organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, have not only managed significantly influence government tax policy, thwart government regulatory agencies, provide self-serving advice to the bureaucracy and lobby congressional committees, but have managed to obtain lucrative welfare benefits for the rich. Parenti sheds some light into the history and nature of "welfare for the Rich" as follows:

"After the war, the Eisenhower administration sought to undo the 'creeping socialism' of the New Deal by handing over to private corporations vast offshore oil reserves, government-owned synthetic rubber factories, public lands, pubic power, and atomic installation, some $50 billion worth of resources and enterprises.

Nor were things much different by the 1980s when the Reagan administration sold or leased — at fees of 1 to 10 percent of true market value — billions of dollars worth of coal and oil reserves, grazing and timber lands, and mineral reserves. In any given year, the federal government hands out more than $100 billion to bi business in price supports, loan subsidies, subsidized insurance rates, promotion and marketing services, irrigation and reclamation programs, and new plants and equipment.

In recent times, the government has provided billions to independent business are left to sink or swim on their own. In 1984, when one of the nation's largest banks, Continental Illinois, was on the brink of failure, it received $7.5 billion in federal aid. In today's political terms, some corporations were listed as being "Too Big To Fail" — the more things change, the more they stay the same, and President Obama saved the motor industry, of which now recently, Chrysler has reported a $70 billion profit margin and begun to repay the Tax payers' loans to it…

Probably the most outrageous case of compensation involves corporation such as DuPont, Ford, ITT, which owned factories in Germany during World War II that produced tanks, bombers, synthetic fuels, and other such things for the Nazi war effort. After the war, rather than being prosecuted for anding and abetting the enemy. ITT collected $27 million from the United Stats government for war damages inflicted on its German plants by allied bombings!?General Motors collected more than $33 million in compensating for damages to its enemy war plants (Greider) The same shameful compensations are the order of the day for certain companies by the government today.

Machinations of the Puppet Masters

Through the shrewd construction and manipulation of tax laws, policies and tax breaks, the ruling business elite and the wealthy classes use tax revenues and public spending as a major means of soaking the poor and less-well-off to redistribute wealth in their favor. Obama irked them when he said that he wanted to spread the wealth around to the middle class and the poor. He is still catching a flack for this utterance.

By influencing the writing and rewriting of tax codes, the largest businesses, banks and corporations may pay little or no taxes, or even achieve a negatives tax rate, meaning that through various accounting procedures they receive cash rebates from the public treasury. Moreover, entitlement programs and special taxation allowances which benefit the wealthy and corporations encourage 'Deficit spending' by the government, i.e., the tendency of the government to spend more than it collects in revenues.

These deficit expenditures often mean that greater and greater amount of public monies are spent in support of the rich and large companies in the form of subsidy guarantees and procurements for private firms owned by the wealthy. Furthermore, it means that the government must borrow from financial institutions,wealthy individuals and other creditors at home and abroad to finance its debt, thereby increasing and maintaining capital accumulation among the rich and protect the earnings of the wealthy.

Greider writes: "By buying up governmental bonds and securities, wealthy creditors can put their surplus capital into the federal deficit and watch it grow risk-free at public expense.... In almost every enterprise, government has provided business with opportunities for private gain at public expense... provides financial aid and military protection to support the global expansion of multinational corporations... there prevails a welfarism for the wealthy of such stupendous magnitude as to make us marvel at the big businessman's audacity in preaching the virtues of self-reliance whenever lesser forms of public assistance threaten to reach hands other than his own."

The social myth is that the welfarism of the rich, special tax breaks and exemptions in favor of the wealthy and the large companies or corporations, provides them with extra investment capital which is invested in production facilities at home thereby increasing employment, income and "trickle down" wealth to the masses.

This"supply side" mythology is only another facet of a mass propaganda campaign perpetrated by the rich in order to rob the poor of their money, lives and freedoms whilst making them think otherwise. The social mythology of "trickle down" economic betterment for the masses is but a con game, a sting operation, a swindle of mass proportions puled off by the ruling elite. Beetham speaks to the "con" in the following manner:

"Once some necessary social resource [e.g., capital, expertise, authority] or activity [e.g., domination and control of vital governmental agencies, offices] comes to be controlled by a particular group, it follows that the interests of society at large can only be met through satisfying the interests of that group, and on terms acceptable to them.

"Those who have historically controlled the means of production or subsistence, of violence and administration, have been in a position to ensure that general needs for welfare, employment security could only be met through the power relations that simultaneously secure their own privilege."

The tasks of corporate and other special interest lobbyists are simplified by the fragmentations of congressional and senatorial power among over 300 subcommittees, each having its own staff and legislative, policy-making jurisdiction. These subcommittees along with twenty or so standing or permanent committees essentially determine the destiny and scope of bills and laws.

In a sense the fragmented subcommittees system has produced cadres of "special interest legislators," i.e., members of legislative subcommittees specially concerned with particular businesses or industry interests such as energy, agriculture, etc.. Thus these committees offer almost each special-interest group its sown special-interest congressional subcommittee, which, if represented on the subcommittee by one or more legislators, can shape or subvert legislation on their behalf.

The monopolization by congressional subcommittees of decisions in specific areas that potentially benefit specific groups, permits them under the influence of strong lobbies, PACs and other well organized, moneyed interest groups to serve up a broad smorgasbord of "protections, grants, subsidies, leases, franchises, in-kind support, direct services, noncompetitive contracts, loan guarantees, loss compensations, and other forms of public largesse in favor of the more influential of thee groups (Parenti, 1988).

Bureaucratic enforcement of the law is often sabotaged by influential groups, ignore, fail to implement, or outright subvert the intent of the law is often sabotaged by influential interest groups, often with the help of legislators, representative from the Presidential offices and top policymakers. The promise of a lucrative position with a large or private firm after administrators leave governmental service is often used to influence their judgment while in office.

It is widely known that any number of administrative bodies under the direct commands of the president as well as ostensibly independent regulatory commissions which make quasi-judicial rulings, fall under the influence of special interest groups, e.g., the corporate and elite, and often become protectors of the "rights" of the industries they are supposed to regulate, in contradiction to the rights or interests of the people.

At the cost of billions of public dollars yearly, these agencies often grant monopoly privileges to big companies and elite corporate entities. These agencies may favor corporate and elite interest groups with generous subsidies, contracts, research and development services, and the infrastructural improvements and new construction when necessary.

When private, elite interests are in effect achieve the subversion of public agencies, public authority falls into private hands and is used to achieve private ends. Since the private and public good often do not coincide, elite and corporate propaganda and ideology notwithstanding, the public good is often left unattended or damaged by the public's own agencies of governance.

The damage done may be prolonged, extensive and hidden from public view because of the secrecy and unaccountability which surrounds governmental activities. Secrecy in public bureaucracies strongly favors the machinations of private business and ruling class interests.

Meanwhile, President Obama is presently in India on the East and West Asian swing, he is still regarding issues about outsourcing as a boogeyman! While the new Tea Bagger and the Republican conservatives are steadily planning on breaking down newly implement governmental laws and replacing them with those that favor big capital.

Final Notes On Corporations

America is a corporate culture. This means it is dominated economically and politically by its corporates and their elite leaders. As Bazelon (1963) intimates: "America was founded by colonizing corporations which subsequently became state governments." Quoting political scientist Earl Latham, he further notes that, "The basic form of the public government in America derived from provenance of a commercial corporation."

The stock corporation is essentially designed to engage in risk-sharing ventures by guaranteeing limited personal liability for its owners or investors: to accumulate and organize and direct relatively large quantities of monetary, material and human capital in more or less circumscribed technological and market areas. I have touched on this point about when discussing the formations and origins of the firm.

Thus, the corporate approach allows a group of investors to enter into rather risky but potentially very profitable ventures with a good degree of self-confidence and an increased possibility for success. Observing the ability of corporations to organize and direct large masses of men and productive capital in rather limited areas or markets, Bazelon suggested "that a corporation is a form of industrial technological or financial government." He goes further to assert that:

"The corporate order is a system of private government. The privacy, however, is not to be comprehended in terms of private property or the private discretion of individuals. The corporate order is largely private form — from public accountability, whether indirectly through than other national government or directly to any of its various constituencies.

The rulers of the corporate system are not elected by anybody, and they are not answerable for the exercise of their more important powers to any elected officials. The privacy of this private government serves mainly to ensure its authoritarian nature — it has nothing to do with the free action of individuals, which is what most of us usually think of the word "private" is used.

Professor Edward Mason, one of our leading authorities on the corporate system has suggested that "the corporation was inevitable because of the enlarged 'entrepreneurial discretion' the form allows — meaning the capacity to command large groups of men and materials toward a particular purpose, much the same as in an army.

And like an army, the individual corporation is (except in very rare instance) a one party state. In other areas of government, we have no difficulty in recognizing this as a feature of dictatorship; it is only the studied absence of clear thinking that keeps us from recognizing the political fact in this area.

The significance of these authoritarian centers for our otherwise somewhat democratic order is sharpened when we note for instance, that Peter Drucker has called the few hundred business enterprises dominating the American economy "the only meaningful units of local government". Further attesting to their essential authoritarianism, the really important activities of private corporate governments are not governed by any Constitution. (Mason)

The corporate culture includes great centers of private power and is the most active and influential political center of political life in America. Major corporations are centers of power around which and by means of which markets are organized; centers of power around which are gathered and organized thousands of dependent and interdependent affiliated enterprises (Berle, 1963).

The relatively limited role played by the government in the corporate system provides the basis for the fact that influential corporations make decisions which affect the socioeconomic and political character of locales, regions and nations in ways which often far exceed the scope of their ownership and economic interests.

Also, the corporation is considered a person with unlimited life span in the eyes of the law, and as a "person" it has the ability to buy and sell, sue and be sued, hire and fire, and so on(this is What Mitt Romney believed and said during his run for the Presidency in 2012-and he lost, dismally).

This gives it tremendous flexibility and continuity compared to other forms of business enterprise. The corporation has the advantage of limited liability. Limited ability allows the corporation to attract backers more easily and to accumulate capital. Measured in terms of gross receipts, for instance, corporations account for about 80% of all business, though they comprise but 10 percent of all business firms.

The growth of corporations has been so spectacular that there remains no doubt that they dominate the American economy whether measured in terms of capital, production, investment, new products, consumer impact, or employment (Greenberg, "Serving the Few"). Corporations serve their own self-interest and are a government within a government as has been so far discussed in this hub.

Corporations and Political Campaign Contributions

The need for a candidate to obtain strong financial backing before mounting a credible primary campaign, let alone before making a final run for political office, often means that he/she has been compromised, if not bought, before he presents himself to the people for election.

The power to influence the process of governance begins before the election and those groups who generally lack the monetary and other relevant resources to influence the pre-election candidate selection process are already out of the running for achieving significant influence in the governance process.

This, despite their heavy voting in favor of one candidate as against another. This is aptly implied by Parenti's observation that, "Supposedly one of the great gifts of our democracy is the right to vote for the candidate of one's choice. But... the "choice" is often narrow and/or restructured by a variety of undemocratic features." Parenti notes in the same vein:

"The ostensible purpose of electoral competition among political parties is to hold rulers accountable. Accounting to Western democratic theory, popular elections counteract the oligarchic tendency by institutionalizing the power of numbers. An election, like an opinion poll, is supposedly a measure of mass sentiment, but also a mandatory decision, an exercise of sovereign power by the many.

"The democratic goal is not only that the many shall have their say but that their say shall have an empowering effect, that it shall be both the public opinion and the public will. The right to free speech and dissent, even assuming such a right could be exercised without risk to the dissenter, is not democracy's sum total but merely one of the necessary conditions for holding those in office accountable to their constituency.

"One can imagine a situation — as exists in our better universities and prisons — in which the constituents might be free to complain of conditions, petition the authorities, read critical newspapers and books, and even write them, while exercising little or no power over decision makers.

"Democracy," as it is practiced by institutional oligarchs, consists of allowing other the opportunity to say what they want while the oligarchs, commanding all institutional resources, continue to do what they want." (Parenti, 1987). The monied interests call the shots in the United States Government, by paying-off the congressmen and senators.

Herbert Alexander concluded from his study of how political campaigns are financed that: "Because of its ability to buy the kinds of services that produce name recognition and exposition of positions, money wields its greatest influence on campaigns — particularly presidential races during the pre-nomination period."

Consequently, candidates become vulnerable to the influences of "fat cats," effective fund-raisers,and the contributions of political action committee, many of which are connected directly of indirectly with the corporate oligarchy. The ability of the power elite to provide crucial financial support for both parties on the national level generally far outweighs that of the unions and other sources of funding more closely related to the masses of the population.

Domhoff argues that through relatively simple and direct means and large campaign contributions, "member of the ruling class can in good measure dominate the candidates-selection process as prospective officeholders seek to distinguish themselves from their competitors and to project an image which will compel the electorate to vote for them."

He goes on to argue: "In the guise of fat cats and money raisers, the same men who direct corporations and take part in policy groups play a central role in the careers of most politicians who advance beyond the local level or state legislatures in states of any size and consequence. Recruitment of elective elites remains closely associated, especially for the more important offices in the larger states, with the candidates' wealth or access to large campaign contributions.

"Moreover, the role of the wealthy donor and the fund raiser seems to be especially crucial in the nomination phase of the process. This was the conclusion of one of the earliest systematic studies of campaign finance" (G. W. Domhoff, "The Powers That Be").

The legitimacy of the electoral system is put into serious question in light of the central role played by heavy campaign contributions and services provided by the ruling elite and those under its ideological influence. The legitimacy of this system is especially questionable when one looks at the products of the candidate-selection process. This system generally produces legislative and governmental system top-heavy with lawyer and other professional "go-between."

The major results of the candidate-selection process are, first, a large number of well-to-do-politicians who are eager and willing to "go along to get along," precisely the kind of politicians who are necessary if the special-interest process is to operate the way it does, and second, a great many politicians with few strong policy positions of their own, who are thus open to the suggestions put forth to them by the corporate executives and academic experts, who have been legitimated as "serious" statesmen and leaders within the institutions of the policy-planning process, are most of the time under the control and directives issue by the Multi-corporations and their lobbyist cadre…

In other words, the evidence shows that the candidate-selection process naturally produces the kinds of elected officials whom we know must be in office because of the ways in which the special-interest and policy-planning processes operate. We can begin to see why the three processes mesh together so well even though they are relatively independent (Domhoff)

The Tea Party and Corporate Organizational Ideology

We have discussed the bases of power as being economical resources, authority, class membership, family, culture, organization, and so forth. However, a source of power more fundamental than these, in fact the ultimate base of power for the other power sources, is that of the power of ideas.

The power of the mind, of thought, imagination and vision; the power of symbol and the word; the power of ideation and the translation of ideation into action, are manifested in a multitude of personal, social, cultural and physical forms. Thomas Dye asserts, "Whole societies are shaped by systems of ideas we frequently refer to as ideologies."

Dye goes on to define ideology "as an integrated system of ideas that provides society and its members with rationalization for a way of life, guides for evaluating 'rightness and wrongness,' and emotional impulses to acton." If ideology successfully justifies the distribution and exercise of power within social relations, then it represents itself as a potent source of control over the consciousness and behavior of the participants.

Thomas Dye helps us to understand the nature of ideologies as follows: Ideologies control people's behavior in several ways:

(1) Ideologies affect perception. Ideas influence what people "see" in the world around them. Ideologies frequently describe the character of human beings in society; they help us become aware of certain aspects of society but often impair our ability to see other aspects. Ideologies may distort and oversimplify in their effort to provide a unified and coherent account of society.

(2) Ideologies rationalize and justify a way of life and hence provide legitimacy for the structure of society. An ideology may satisfy the status quo, or it may provide a rationale for change, or even for revolution.

(3) Ideologies provide normative standards to determine "rightness" and "wrongness" in the affairs of society. Ideologies generally have a strong moral component. Occasionally, they even function as "religions" — complete with prophets (Marx), Scriptures (The Communist Manifesto), saints(Lenin, Stalin,Mao), and visions of Utopia (a communist society).

(4) Ideologies provide motivation for social and political action. They give their followers a motive to act to improve world conditions. Ideologies can "convert" individuals to a particular social and political movement and arouse them to action." (Dye)

In this case, we will speak of ideology in terms of its use by the ruling class or dominant group(s) to justify the existing social order. Jeffrey Reiman says: "When ideas, however unintentionally, distort reality in a way that justifies the prevailing distribution of power and wealth, hides society's injustices, and thus secures uncritical allegiance to the existing social order, we have what Marx called ideology."

This system has not been transformed to certain outcomes thus implying that despite its gross inequalities and inadequacies, a critical mass of the populace must accept the ideology used to justify its existence. It is apparent that in such a system the rich and powerful have an especially strong interest on promulgating and elaborating the prevailing ideology which legitimizes their socioeconomic status.

The rich and powerful, in this context, of all the groups which compose American society, have the greatest need for ideology and to see that the other groups are well-indoctrinated with it. Reiman, in his book, "The Rich Get Richer and the poor Get Prison: Ideology, class, and Criminal Justice" instructs us thus: "A simple and persuasive argument can be made for the claim that the rich and powerful in America have an interest in conveying an ideological message to the rest of the nation.

"The have-nots and have-littles far outnumber the have-plenties. This means, to put it rather crudely, the have-nots and the have-littles could have more if they decided to take it from the have-plenties. This, in turn, means that the have-plenties need the cooperation of the have-nots and the have littles. Because the have-plenties are such a small minority that they could never force this cooperation on the have-nots and the have-littles, this cooperation must be voluntary.

"For the cooperation to be voluntary, the have-nots and the have-littles must believe that it would not be right or reasonable to take away what the have-plenties have. In other words, they must believe that for all its problems the present social, political and economic order, with its disparities of wealth and power and privilege, is about the best that human beings can do. More specifically, the have-nots and the have-littles must believe that they are not being exploited by the have-plenties.

"Now this seems to me to add up to an extremely plausible argument that ours is a social system that requires for its continued operation a set of beliefs necessary to secure the allegiance of the less well-off majority. These beliefs must be in some considerable degree false, because the distribution of wealth and power in the United States is so evidently arbitrary and unjust. Ergo, the need for ideology."

Domhoff discusses how to the special interest, policy formation, and candidate-selection processes and the ideological processes is crucially used by the powers-that-be to maintain and enhance their power over the masses thus:

"The ideology process consists of the numerous methods through which members of the power elite attempt to shape the beliefs, attitudes and opinions of the underlying population. It is within this process that the power of elite tries to create, disseminate and reinforce a set of attitudes and values that assure Americans that the United States, is for all its alleged defects, the best of all possible worlds.

"The ideology process is an adjunct to other three processes, for they would not be able to function smoothly without at least the resigned acquiescence of a great majority of the population. Free and open discussion are claimed to be the hallmarks of the process, but past experience shows that its leaders will utilize deceit and violence in order to combat individuals or organizations which espouse attitudes and opinions that threaten the power and privilege of the ruling class.

"The ideology process is necessary because public opinion does not naturally and automatically agree with the opinions of the power elite... Without the ideology process, a vague and amorphous public opinion — which must often be cajoled into accepting power-elite policies — might turn into a hardened class consciousness that opposed the ruling-class consciousness that opposed the ruling-class viewpoint at every turn. In order to prevent the development of attitudes and opinions contrary to the interests of the ruling class, leaders within the ideology process attempt to build upon and reinforce the underlying principles of the American system.

"Academically speaking, these underlying principles are called laissez-faire liberalism, and they have employed a near-monopoly of American political thought since at least the beginnings of the republic. The principles emphasize individualism, free enterprise, competition, equality of opportunity and a minimum of reliance upon government carrying out the affairs of society." (Domhoff)

The central aim of the ruling elite's ideology process is to define the "domain of discourse." That is, the corporate elite seeks to define the limit of acceptable ideas, and to define what is worth talking about, worth learning, teaching, promoting, and writing about. Of course, the limits of the "acceptable," the "responsible," are set at those points which support and justify the interests of the elite itself.

To a great extent the elite ideology process essentially involves the reinforcement of long-held, orthodox "American" values, perspectives, practices and ideals (which the system of power relations has already indirectly shaped to begin with), by using the media and other channels of communications.

The Ideology of the Media Process

The most effective means of disseminating and reproducing ideas in society, and in the African American community in particular, and other minorities in general, is to have that community perceive their dissemination and reproduction as the work of interested, unbiased, non-manipulative, liberal yet authoritative, White American individuals, groups, or institutions, or as flowing from sources independent of the marked influence of the powerful.

Thus, the dominant elite in the USA, strongly pushes and projects the powerful mythology of independent, liberal American media, universities, and other information processing establishments. That is, America loudly congratulates itself for what it calls it s "free press" and mass media which permit the free exchange of ideas.

Most minority Americans utilize White Dominant media and these factors as their primary, if not sole, source of information. Most are mindful of the fact that the American press and mass media are privately owned, profit-making, White elite-controlled corporations. The press is one among other institutions, "And one of the most important in maintaining the hegemony of the corporate class and the capitalist system itself," advances Parenti.

"If the press cannot mold our every opinion, it can frame the perpetual reality around which our opinions that take shape. Here may lie the most important effect of the new media; they set the issue agenda for the rest of us,choosing what to emphasize and what to ignore or suppress, in effect, organizing our political world for us.

"The media may not always be able to tell us what to think, but they are strikingly successful in telling us what to think about.... It is enough that they create opinion, visibility, giving legitimacy to certain views and illegitimacy to others. The media does the same to substantive issues that they do to candidates, raising some from oblivion and conferring legitimacy upon them, while consigning others to limbo.

"This power to determine the issue agenda, the information flow, and the parameters of political debate so that it extends from ultra-right to no further than moderate center, if not total, is still totally awesome." (Parenti)

Thus, through its monopoly of the media and, the means of disseminating and "validating" information and interpreting reality, the ruling elite not only reinforces and channels the orthodox values which support its supremacy, but also utilizes its monopolies to simultaneously prevent 'groups with a different ideology' from presenting their interpretation of events.

As Hirsch further contends: "In order to preserve ideological harmony,it is only necessary for the ruling group to reinforce dominant values and at the same time prevent the dissemination of opinion that effectively challenges the basic assumptions of the society. Public knowledge of inequality and injustice isn't so damaging as long as these perceptions are not drawn together into a a coherent, opposing ideology" (Glenn Hirsch)

Institutions in an oppressive society function to maintain its structural status quo. As Michael Parenti contends: "Most American institutions, be they hospitals, museums, universities, businesses, banks, scientific laboratories, or mass media, are...owned...by the White American community." However it remains true that within that community the major institutions, and in the context of our present focus, the mass media, are owned by a relatively small number of the corporate rich. Parenti asks and answers the following question:

"Who specifically owns the mass media in the United States? Ten business and financial corporations control the three major television and radio networks 9NBC, CBS, ABC), 34 subsidiary television stations, 201 cable systems, 62 radio stations, 20 record companies, 59 magazines including Time and Newsweek, 58 newspapers including the new York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, 41 book publishers, and various motion pictures companies like Columbia Pictures and Twentieth-Century Fox.

Three-quarters of the major stockholders of AB, NBC and CBS are banks such as Chase Manhattan, Morgan Guaranty Trust, Citibank, and Bank of America. The overall pattern is one of increasing concentration of ownership and earnings. According to a 1982 Los Angeles Times survey, independent daily newspapers are being gobbled up by the chains at the rate of fifty or sixty a year. Ten newspapers chains earn over half of all newspaper revenues in this country.

Five media conglomerates share 95 percent of the records and tapes and CD markets. Eight Hollywood studios account for 89 percent of US feature film rentals. Three television networks earn over two-thirds of total US television revenues. Seven paperback publishers dominate the mass market for book. Of the existing "independent" television and radio stations, 80 percent are network affiliates. Practically the only shows these "independents" produce are the local evening newscasts, the rest of their time being devoted to network programs.

Most of the remaining stations are affiliated with the Public Broadcasting System(PBS), which receives almost all its money from the federal government and from corporate donors and their foundations, with smaller share from listener subscription (Parenti, 1986) We must bear in mind that Parenti presented these data in 1986, the ownership and control of mass media was still diffuse compared to its narrow monopolistic ownership today.

Not only has traditional electronic and print media been far more consolidated under far fewer owners since then, but the communications revolution currently underway in the forms of "information superhighways", "Social Media" and giant national and international "Interactive" media networks are the sources of furiously combative conflicts over their ownership and control by less than a handful of media and information/communications systems which are the major tools for generating, maintaining and converting individual and public opinions into social power — power used to oppress and exploit.

Who Controls the Message

Obama lost 14 million youth voters during tis mid-term cycle, and only 9 million voted; the problem with Obama is that he thinks like an intellectual and analytical, but does not realize the disconnect he has with the main street people. The converse is true that Obama seems to think things through than try to be forceful about them.

In terms of communication and messaging systems and the message, Obama and his Democrats have noise in the channel and nothing is going through. Michael Ciric writes: "Democrats and Republicans have long ignored their constituents while amassing personal wealth from special interests groups.

After the "shellacking" the Democrats received as alluded to by the president, big business are licking their lips for the financial returns on their four billion and then some investments they have just made. They are happy that the outsourcing of jobs, and other perks they are eyeing have been secured. The Chamber of commerce and other moneyed interests are happy with their "corporate merger" acquisitions because of their money lever, as the parlance parlays in the political arena.

"This means that the corporation are seeking special favors, and these are going to provided for by the incoming Republican/Tea Party-Bagger underlings and political appointees." This has turned out to be true today as one scans the political landscape as it shapes up for the 2012 Presidential elections in the United States.

Corporations and monied interests have poured 4 billion dollars into controlling the messages and the images on TV and elsewhere. It is important to note that the White corporate elite media/information establishment uses its control of the mass media to create and reinforce "the ideology that transforms [its] interests into a 'general interest,' justifying existing class relations as the only natural and workable ones, the preferred and optimal, although not perfect, societal arrangement.

The corporate elite-owns and -controls media functions to create a climate of opinion, to shape social perception by framing the reality and information which basically shapes the formation and expression of opinions. They do this mainly through setting the issues agenda, that is, by controlling the "domain of discourse," e.g., determining what is worthy of public exposure and discussion.

They choose what issues and information are to be emphasized, to be ignored or suppressed. Consequently, they create visibility and legitimacy for certain persons, groups and opinions and thereby impose limits on public knowledge, interest, discourse, understanding, behavioral orientation and capability.

For us to get a much more clearer picture of what we have been talking about in this paragraph, we will need to understand the control issues related to the media of mass communications. These contentions can be solidly substantiated by an analysis not only of the ownership and control of the mass media but even more relevant, of their general programmatic content. Parenti informs us thus:

"Conservatives, and religious New Rightists make over 10,000 weekly television and radio broadcasts across the country, with much of the airtime donated by sympathetic station owners. Hundreds of radio and TV stations are owned outright by conservative organizations. Over 1,000 radio and TV outlets beam a fundamentalist evangelical message around the nation [also Africa, central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific].

The right is not seeking changes of a kind that burden or threaten the interest of the dominant corporate class. If anything, it advocates a view of the world that wealthy media owners look upon with genuine sympathy, unlike the view offered by the left protesters.

The centrist media is, in a word, more receptive to the right than to the left because its owners and corporate heads share the right's basic feeling about free enterprise, capitalism, communism(socialism), labor unions, popular protest, and U,S. Global supremacy, even if not always seeing eye-to-eye with it on specific policies and certain cultural issues. In addition, the right has the money to buy media exposure and the left usually does not (Parenti). We have discussed and talked about this in the hub above.

An updated version of what Parenti talked about in 1986 will demonstrate the preponderance and pervasiveness of a general center-to-right political media establishment arrayed against Black America and progressive non-Black Americans. A review of the most popular TV and radio talk programs saliently reveals that they owe their popularity to barefaced and barely disguised anti-Black, anti-liberal sociopolitical orientations and content.

In a major urban market like New York City, "Hate Radio," unadorned, crude, expressions of hatred of Blacks are a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week fare. The radio stations and hosts who broadcast such attitudes receive markedly higher ratings and are listened to by enormously larger audiences, numbering million, compared to the their milder or even more liberal counterparts.

Rush Limbaugh, nationally syndicated TV and radio personality who transparently disguises his Reaganite conservative views, anti-Black, anti-liberal attitudes as "entertainment" and political satire, speaks daily to an audience approaching 20 million, 70% of whom are middle to lower class Whites. His first book sold over 3 million and his second, published in the Fall of 1993, had a first printing of 3 million, the largest in US history.

Limbaugh's blustery, vacuous rantings laced with clinched conservative "ideologues," earn him not only his large national audience as well as audiences with conservative US Presidents and high administrative officials, but an estimated $4 million from radio annually. Sales from his first book grossed over $8 million and his 12 page monthly newsletter supported by some 370,000 subscriber grosses $11 million.

These earnings pushed Limbaugh's income in the area of $20 million for 1993[and has increased in leaps and bounds over the subsequent years]. Anti-Black propaganda, conservative, ideological publications not only help to maintain the White supremacist status quo, to the icing on the cake, are the sources of fabulous wealth, fame and prestige.

The foregoing discussion only hints at the social-political construction and power of the White-Owed and -controlled media/establishment system, a system founded on political and economic oppression and exploitation of the masses in general and African peoples in particular. The latter statement will be full explored in another Hub which will focus on these relationships and their origins.

Understanding Racism

Ron Daniels writes: "Racism is not defined by individual random acts. Racism is a systematic discrimination against or exclusion and oppression of a group of people based upon an accidental quality such as skin color, hair texture, shape and size of lips, and so forth. It's systematic.

"Racism is to be distinguished from chauvinism. Much of what we often call racism is not really not racism at all, but may be cultural or ethnic chauvinism. And chauvinism is often an attitude of superiority based on culture or ethnicity. One group of people feels that their cultural group is superior to another, or one ethnic group may feel that it is better than another group.

"Then there's prejudice. Prejudice is simply a feeling of superiority or bias towards a group of people. Generally, we talk about prejudice in terms of the pre-judging of people. Racism is distinguished by the fact that it is systematic and it relates to the question of power or capacity.

"That is to say, racism is about having the power or capacity to translate to prejudices and attitudes or feelings of superiority into practice, custom, policy, or law. That is a fundamental difference between simply saying "I don't like White folk," or, "I don't like Black Folks," and the ability to impose that ability that prejudice in a way that impinges upon and thwarts the ability of a group to develop.

"But it becomes very alarming when they have the power, through various institutions and mechanisms, to translate that dislike into policies and customs that block me and impede my ability to fulfill myself as a human being, or even to do violence to my person."

"Greider surmises: "In the contemporary Democratic party, the 'regulars' at the grassroots are regarded as an impediment to governing." And the major impediment to governing is the troubling presence of Black America, and Hispanic Americans. This is not only the case for Democratic party, but for the Republican party as well."

This is the case for the White American nations-within-a-nation, period. Thomas and Mary Edsall cut right to the heart of the matter in their introductory remarks to an article titled "Race" published in the Atlantic Monthly (May 1991): "Race is no longer a straightforward, morally unambiguous force in american politics; instead, considerations of race are now deeply imbedded in the strategy and tactics of politics, in competing concepts of the function and responsibility of government, and in each voter's conceptual structure of moral and partisan identity.

Race helps define liberal and conservative ideologies, shapes the presidential coalitions of the Democratic and Republican parties, provides a harsh new dimension to concern over taxes and crime, drives a wedge through alliances of the working classes and the poor, and gives both momentum and vitality to the drive to establish a national majority inclined by income and demography to support policies benefiting the affluent and the upper-middle class.

In terms of policy, race has played a critical in the creation of a political system that has tolerated, and a huge division between the races,if not supported, the growth of the disparity between rich and poor over the past fifteen years. Race-coded images and language changed the course of the 1980, 1984 and 1988 presidential elections and the 1990 elections for governorships of California and Alabama, the US Senate in North Carolina and the post of Texas secretary of agriculture.

This change has been witnessed contemporarily in the rise of the Tea Baggers in the 2010 mid-term elections The political role of race is subtle and complex, requiring listening to those whose views are deeply repellent to some and deeply resonant for others. The debate over racial policy has been skewed and distorted by a profound failure to listen.

The Edsalls gave further evidence of the antipathy many in the White American nation had for African Americans in reporting the results of an analysis of the attitudes of White "Reagan democrats,"i.e., White nominally Democrats who supported Ronald Reagan[known today as the Blue Dog Democrats] and Republican party politics during the past decade.

The views of working-class defectors from the Democratic Party were examined in a 1985 study of suburban Detroit by Stanley Greenberg, the president of the Analysis Group, a Democratic polling firm. The study found that, "These white Democratic defectors express a profound distaste for blacks, a sentiment that pervades almost everything they think about government and politics.

Blacks constitute the explanation for their ['white defectors'] vulnerability and for almost everything that has gone wrong in their lives; not being black is what constitutes being middle class; not living with blacks is what makes a neighborhood a decent place to live... These sentiments have important implications for Democrats, as virtually all progressive symbols and themes have been redefined in racial and pejorative terms....

The spacial status of blacks is perceived by almost all of these individuals as a serious obstacle to their personal advancement. Indeed, discrimination against whites has become well-assimilated and ready explanation for their status, vulnerability and failures.

Ron Daniels said: "In talking about racism, we need to have some sense of definition. I want to represent definitions at this point. Racism is not defined by individual random acts. Racism is a systematic discrimination against or exclusion and oppression of a group of people based upon an accidental quality such as skin color, hair texture, shape and size of lips, and so forth. Racism is not to be distinguished from chauvinism.

"Much of what we often call racism is rally not racism at all, but may be cultural or ethnic chauvinism. And chauvinism is often an attitude of superiority based on culture or ethnicity. One group of people feels that their cultural group is superior to another, or one ethnic group may feel that it is better that another group. Then there's prejudice. Prejudice is simply a feeling of superiority or bias towards a group of people. Generally, we talk about prejudice in terms of the pre-judging of other people.

"Racism is much more that chauvinism or prejudice. But racism is distinguished by the fact that it is systematic, and it relates to the question of power and capacity. That is to say, racism is about having the power or capacity to translate prejudices and attitudes or feelings of superiority into practice, custom, policy, or law.

"That is a fundamental difference between simply saying "I don't like White folks," or, "I don't like like Black folks," and the ability to impose that prejudice in a way that impinges upon and thwarts the ability of a group to develop. But it becomes very alarming when they have the power, through various institutions and mechanisms, to translate that dislike into policies and custom that block me and impede my ability to fulfill myself as a human being, or even to do violence to my person" (Ron Daniels)

Talking about racism, one observes how it has never gone away, but keeps on recycling itself over the decades to date. It is important that we recognize that multicultural education and diversity is intensified. Also important is the dispelling of myths and lies and misinformation to be able to undermine the pillars of white supremacy and the conglomerate oligarchy.

Books like Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States should become standard textbooks because they will inform us more clearly about the Hispanics, African Americans and other minorities. This might enable us to see the world differently.

Sources of organizational power

There is a perception in this country that this is a white country, that if you accommodate to this white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant milieu culturally and politically, it's fine. But if you challenge it, that cause for deep fear, deep anxiety. And some of this lashing out is about that.

What has been characterized as "anger" and "mad as hell" Tea baggers, who held Town Hall meetings and sponsored by some billionaire cliques, who worry that their inheritance will be taxed, therefore given everything to prop-up the rallies, bus tours, moving people from hither to tither, has a majority of white in their ranks and a negligible paltry number of other racial minorities.

These moneyed billionaires want to do away with all programs catering to the poor, giving tax-breaks to the ultra rich(estimated to be about $700 billion), thereby increasing the national debt, which is contrary to what the Tea Baggers were talking about when they hacked away at Obama for big government, increasing the national debt through the stimulus package, and hurling all sorts of doubts into the minds of the American that they managed to get some modicum of fear, garnering a following, and sending new people with no governmental experience to try and cajole the present government into action.

Which in this instance served the interests of the billionaires, and making the poor more poorer: cutting social security, repealing the health care that was going to cover over 40 million people and in the process reducing the national debts in several years, reducing the current social programs and breaking minorities because they are individuals who lack or are weakened towards achieving social solidarity and organization, has been the promises and battle-cry of the incoming Tea Bagger freshmen in Washington.

To better understand the Tea Baggers as an organization, we read what Horton and Hunt (1968) to have correctly pointed out that, "The struggle for power often appears to be largely a contest between organizations ...the power of highly organized groups is only checked by the opposition of other groups." These authors further delineate a number of sources of organizational power and some factors which affect group power:

Wealth Numbers and Specialized Facilities: "The obvious advantage of organization is that it brings together the efforts of a large number of people along with a great deal of wealth. When an organization represents million...it has at least a potential claim to speak for a considerable fraction of the population.

"An organization can accumulate a large treasury from the dues and small contributions of many members. By joining together, even the poor and unknown may gain some of the attributes of power often attributed to the elite.

"The specialized facilities of the organization also increase its influence. [Its individual members may make their ...views known through the activities of the organizational lobbyist who is constantly in contact with those who make government decisions"; we have briefly discussed this issue above in the this Hub.

Coordinated Membership Response: "The major source of organizational power lies in the ability to enable many people to take planned, concerted action to affect social decisions. [Organizations can exert power through]...

(a) some form of coercion — either through force or through non-violent coercion;

(b) ...the organization of blocs of voters [or activists] to influence government policy, non-violent coercion through economic pressure and occasional use of violence." This has been seen during the 2010 mid-term elections and was played ad-nuseum of cable TV and other News outlets; Ron Paul's cronies stumping on a female activists; Richard Write's arresting of a reporter and having him handcuffed; Tea baggers carrying of guns during one of Obama's rallies and so on)

Size and Organizational power: "While large groups are not always effective, a large membership does not give them a large power potential. ...Large organizations become highly active and overwhelmingly powerful when their vital interests are threatened." (This was seen when multiple Tea baggers were supported by lobbyists already mentioned above)

Cohesiveness and Action Orientation: "Solitary groups which can unite their members in a given program have a great advantage over loosely structured organizations which must seek agreement through an education and decision process and my seldom be able to count on a concerted response from their members." That this was seen in operation, was through the coalitions built for the Tea Bagger by their sponsors, the billionaire clique who inherited their wealth, who were(the Ta Baggers), a bull-horn and mouthpiece of the demands made by the billionaires, who are protecting their interests)

Perceived Role as a Power Factor: The members of an organization have an image of what kinds of activities are proper for the organization, and this image limits the areas in which it can exercise power.... The power of an organization is also limited by the role assigned to it by the community...

Thus, the public's perceived role of an organization or group limits its social power by determining the public support role of an organization or group limits its social power by determining the public support its actions must receive," (a"tough the Tea Baggers were billed as a "grassroots movement," this could have been far from the truth. All the different organizations that form the Tea Bagger movement were inspired, as pointed above in relation to Koch and his billionaire cohorts)

Organizational Alliances: "Some of the advantages of large size may be won if smaller groups join in united action. This alliance is simplified when the organizations involved are led by interlocking directorates... Thus, an overlapping network of membership links the organizations together, making for easy cooperation and vesting control of many organizations in a very small group of persons....

An alliance between entirely separate group may be forge when their interests converge." (In this case, the interests of the Tea baggers converge around Obama and his race. What they say about him is not borne out by the reality of laws and successful policies he has so far signed into law over the past two years).

Countervailing Power: "The opposite tendency of organized groups — to oppose each other rather than to cooperate — has been given the name of countervailing power [Gilbraith, 1952]. This theory states that the exercise of great power to inspire the organization of opposing power usually keeps Republicans when they came to be known as the party of 'NO', to all reforms that Obama was(a Democrat) was proposing or putting into law."(The incoming Tea Bagger Washington freshmen want to repeal reform and change or abolish Social Security and other Social programs)

Thus far we have seen in our discussion of various forms of power, e.g., coercive power, physical force, Corporate stealth power and their powerful reach in all aspects of the political and social world, authority, and the power of racism as well as various bases of power. Control over important economic resources and he ability to make economic decision which significantly impact on the lives of others permit those who own or control these resources to wield a considerable amount of power. Thomas Dye cogently describes the relationship between power and economic resources in the United States:

"A great deal of power in America is centered in large economic organizations — corporations, banks, utilities, investment firms, and government agencies charged with the responsibility of overseeing the economy...Control of economic resources provides a continuous and important base of power in any society.

Economic organizations decide the basic economic question of who gets what. Deciding "who gets what" entails deciding what will be produced, how it will be produced, how much will be produced and how much it will cost, how many people will be employed, who will be employed and what their wags will be, how the goods and services that are produced will be distributed, what technology will be developed, what profits will be made and how they will be distributed, how much money will be available for loans and what interest rates will be charged, how fast the earnings will grow, and so forth (Dye)

United States' Second Government

Financial-Corporate Complex

Anyone who cares to analyze the fundamental social structure of the American economic and political power, one will find that the private financial-corporate complex and its governing elite are the "second government of the United States." That is, the elected US government may,for all practical purposes, be perceived as an extension of this private government. Its primary function under such circumstances is to legitimate and execute private rule by making it appear to be public policy.

Thus is the fascist, corporate state produced, wearing a benign public persona. By the private "financial-corporate complex" we mean that combination of the largest, wealthiest and most influential financiers and privately owned financial institutions, syndicates and corporate bodies which seek various methods o influence and direct governmental policy in favor of its own self-serving interests and often against the best interests of the public.

This complex influences governmental policy in its favor through the appointment of its most politicized members to head powerful government departments, offices and agencies. Parenti writes that: "The top state and federal offices and party leadership positions, to this day, have remained largely in the hands of White, Protestant, middle-aged, upper-income males of conventional political opinion, drawn from the top ranks of corporate management, from the prominent law and banking firms of Wall Street and less frequently from the elite universities foundations and the scientific establishments"....

Not every member of the ruling class is born rich, but most are. Not all wealthy person are engaged in ruling, some preferring to concentrate on making money or on living a life of ease. "The ruling class contains what could be called the politicized members of the upper class," writes Alan Wolfe....

The policies they pursue in office frequently are connected directly to the corporate interests they represent in their private lives. Thus the decision-makers involved in the US armed intervention against the worker-student uprising in the Dominican Republic in 1965 consisted of Abe Fortas, AA Berle, Jr., Ellsworth Bunker, Averell Harriman and a half-dozen others who were stockholders, directors or counsels for large sugar companies that depended on Dominican sugar and molasses for their operations.

"Even without these direct economic interests, it would be difficult for these gentlemen in their 'neutral' decision-making roles to escape the assumptions, inclinations and priorities inculcated by their economic and social milieu" (Parenti, 1977).

Parenti further discusses what we refer to as the financial-corporate complex as follows: "Less than 1 percent of all corporations control two-thirds of the corporation assets of the entire economy. Forty-nine of the biggest banks hold a controlling interest in the 500 largest corporations.

"Thus, ITT, Sears, American Express, IBM, BankAmerica, and Citicorp can all claim JP Morgan, Inc., as one of their top investors. JP Morgan is the nation's largest stockholder, with more than 15 billion invested in the stock market. In the United States, as in most other industrial countries, finance capital dominates other forms of capital formation, including manufacturing.

"The trend is toward greater concentration of corporate wealth as giant companies are brought by supergiants. ...Instead of enlarging the economic pie, corporate and financial elites cut bigger slices for themselves. This is why, despite repeated recessions and sluggish economic growth, profits doubled in the early 1980s." Corporate gains in the present recession under Obama are continuing to rake-in millions and billions, despite the sluggish economic growth, joblessness and a stagnant recession not moving anywhere in the past two years of Obama's less than two year rule.

"It is certain that the quality of life of the average American citizen is more independent on the functionality of the corporate sector than on the governmental sector. For it is the corporations and companies which hire and fire, promote and demote, who determine the economic standing and fate of millions of individuals and families. American corporations and companies can, through control of wages, salaries, working conditions, layoffs, job cuts and much else, more directly affect the social order and the quality of life of American citizens than can the American government."

It has been decided by Constitutional and political tradition that the private financial-corporate sector can exercise these vital powers with relatively little interference from the public sector. The cry for "less government," "deregulation," an "unrestricted market economy" or "free market economy"; for "letting the market determine outcomes," "privatizing Social Security," "repealing Obamas laws and policies," as required and dictated by the private financial-corporate sector, is not a call for full individual freedom of choice and democracy as it may appear to be on the surface.

It cloaks a call for governance by financial-corporate authoritarian rule in place of public democratic rule. For where public government does not reign or protect, private government will establish its tyrannies. And the private citizen will not be the freer. The constitution might or will in the end be ignored...

The power of national and transnational corporations and corporate complexes which operate against their sociocultural and politico-economic interests of the majority is immense. In their counteractions against hegemonic financial-corporate capital, organized labor, which refuses to accept wage slavery and peonage as conditions for being employed by piggish transnational corporations, is facing a strong push-back from the corporations.

Only strategically passive and active resistance on the part of organized masses the world-over can overcome any tyranny of the international financial-corporate elite if it is their will to do so. The jobs of the senators and congressmen is to take care of the American people, create jobs, build bridges and improve the infrastructure; their job is to make sure that every American has all his/her basic rights and basic needs met.

Their job is not to be beholden to corporate interests, but as the article has shown, there is more corporate interests being catered for at the expense of the American people who suffer job losses, loosing their homes, savings, children's future because the present senators and congressmen dance to the tune of keeping the wealthy more wealthier and happy, and the poor even more poorer and depressed.

The job of the elected people is that they need and are required to serve the people who elevated and elected them into power. Understanding how things are run in the country is but one tiny step towards addressing the inequalities and injustices brought upon the poor by the those with deep pockets and money to override and ignore the constitutional rights and an elected government by the majority all Americans.

Lest we forget, the number of millionaires has increased, and the members of Congress of are what Americans now call the "The House of Millionaires"... The Filthy rich are getting even more than necessarily richer, whilst the poorest and becoming even more poorer...

Yet we are made to believe that , we, the people of the UnitedState, have community of interest with the giant multinationals, the vey companies that at any time may desert our communities in pursuit of cheap labor(Today known as Outsourcing) markets today. In fact, on almost every issue We, The People..., are not in the same boat with the big companies.

Policy costs are not equally shard, and benefits are not equally enjoyed. This was true of ancient empires as of the ones today. In 1919, the conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter described the imperialism of classical Rome in the words which will sound familiar to present Day Americans:

"The policy which pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war, the policy of continual preparation for war, the policy of meddlesome interventionism. There was no corner of the unknown of the world where some interest was not alleged to in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of the Roman allies; and if Rome had no allies, then the allies would be invented.

When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest — why,then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a hot of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive deigns. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people."

This thought is summed up neatly by Ernst Badian when he asserted: "No administration in history has ever devoted itself so wholeheartedly to fleecing its subjects for the private benefit of its ruling class as Rome of the last age of the Republic In a nutshell, the 'national' policies of an imperialist country reflect the interest of that country.

Those who think empire solely as an expression of national interest rather than class interests are bound to misinterpret the nature of imperialism. In their discussion of present-day u.S. interventionism, the liberal writers Buell and Rothschild commented that, "the American psyche is pegged to being the biggest, best, richest, and strongest.

"Just listen to the rhetoric of our politicians.... But does Rhetoric of our politicians really reflect the sentiments of the major portion of our people who in fact come up as decidedly noninterventionist in most opinion polls? When a Third World nation - whether it be Cuba, vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua or Afghanistan - 'spurn our ways,' i.e., moving towards social order that they choose and threaten multi-corporation investments and capitalism as a global system, our "egos ache."

The nature of the multinationals monopolize the private returns of empire while carrying little, if any, of the public cost. The expenditures needed in the way of armaments and aid to make the world safe for General Motors, General Dynamics, General Electric and other generals played by the US government, that is, by the taxpayers. Such psychologizing about aching egos and basking in the sunshine of imperial recognition allows us to blame imperialism on the ordinary American citizens who are more the victims than the beneficiaries of the empire.

Perfect Lackeys for Corporate Gluttony

If the Hub is anything to go by given the present 'political realities' affecting America, it give the reader a sense as to here we are coming from at 'at' and scary future ahead. Twice this year the government has been facing a shut-down, and now lately a national default with international implications. The Republican Party and its Tea Bagger cohorts have long stated their objective: deny Obama second term by any means necessary.

Or better still, the past two years we saw the Republican Party become a Party that was in the end dubbed the 'Party Of No,' meaning, they went against everything that President Obama proposed or tried to implement, stall many of his nominations in key governmental positions, and programs that would resuscitate the fledgling American economy, like building bridges, rebuilding the national infrastructure, funding and founding Green Energy Companies, bringing back 'out-sourced' jobs to mainland America, increase scholarships, grants and loans to students and so on.

Then, they use their "Media Talking Point" how useless Obama is, how inefficient and incapable of leading the country he is, how is not fit to be president, born in Kenya, and socialist-depicted as Hitler, or an african with feathers all over him, as taking the country from the 'White?!" people of America; they deny him all the progress he tried to implemented in America, and then do a three-sixty and blame him for the shortcomings of the unemployment indicator going back to nine point something.

That there are fewer than expected jobs created, and the worsening and declining of the American the economy and empire since he came to power; and now, we are back at it, full force, the debate is now about whether to raise the national Debt Ceiling or default. up to the writing of this Hub, the Republican say that will not vote to raise the Debt Ceiling, even though they have no facts why they would not.

The Republicans, with their intransigent behavior and their dislike of Obama, are prepared to plunge the American economy back into a recession which will finally lead to a deeper depression.

When the Republicans say that, 'they have done their job, and now creating jobs and help the American people' is not a in tandem with the statement that their rhetoric suggest. In fact, their speechifying has shown the American people that instead, they are fighting tooth and nail to give the richest cut in taxes, and burden the poor by cutting social Security, Medicare/-Aid and other such important programs.'

So, the American people have to buy/drink the 'Kool-Aid' they are being given and made to eat the Republican sausage, and in the end, the rich become even much more richer, and the poor becoming even more poorer than where they are at, now.

It is simply clear that the people behind the "real-politick" scene, we have Kapital with deep pockets on their side, as they are constantly are haranguing and scaring-stiff the American electorate whilst their are doing this in their service to the money hoarders. Although the American people are under attack from the Republican conservative who are serving the interest of the 'Uber rich,' they are not bamboozled by the shenanigans that are being performed by these agents of capital and carriers of 'racist talking points and memes.' In the final analysis, we see the looming 2012 Presidential elections, and this Hub will be delving in-depth as to the events of the ever changing American 'Real Politik.'

Live Look At Making Obama "Fail"

What has happened to Obama seems to have been overlooked by the electorate which is itself under siege from the recalcitrant Republicans. If the media today were anything to go by, it has reported since the inception of Obama's presidency have turned up to be and dubbed the Party of 'No'. Most of the programs Obama instituted have been blocked, adjusted and utterly/totally negated by the minority Republican Party.

Whether it be the Stimulus Package, or the Health Bill, Jobs, Debt Ceiling or whatever Obama attempts, has been derailed, denied and dismissed by the GOP. Whether some of those programs Obama is proposing were in the 'works' by the Republican Party, just because he, Obama, is proposing them without altering anything they(Republicans have constructed), they go out of their way to deny him the passage or success which they view as helping hem be reelected.

They have openly stated it that their aim is to deny Obama a second term as President. Some, heading towards and after the 2010 mid-term elections have clearly and openly declared that their aim is to make Obama fail. Whether the middle class goes down in the process, as it has already headed down that direction of failure, that does not matter with the GOP leaders and their sponsors.

The battle heading towards the raising of the Trade Deficit worsened the American economy, to the extent that it had its triple-A rating downgraded to double-A, which has had some serious implications and downturn on any prospects of economic growth. One thing the GOP was certain about,they were not going to tax the super-rich, instead, they are still busy trying to get them a tax break from 35 per cent to 25 percent of less.

They would rather cut on Social Security, health care and other programs like Pell Grant for Students and the WIC program for kids and so forth, rather than tax the rich. Whilst they are at it, now recently, as we head into the Fall of 2011, and Obama about to announce his forthcoming Jobs Bill, they are already crowing, denying him, opposing any of his proposals long before he announces them.

What is patently clear is the fact that the Republican have consistently denied and barred any plans that Obama may hash towards improving and developing America, by any means necessary. Now that we escaped Hurricane Irene, and the East Coast of the US, form Virginia to Canada was shaken up by a 5.8 Earthquake, we hear the leaders of the GOP, who have been running on the theme of small government, requesting and expecting government hand-out with the two disasters that recently were visited on their states.

Some of the many officials who were against and voted to stop the Stimulus package have instead benefitted from it, crated jobs, and went onto 'ribbon-cutting ceremonies', are the same GOP leaders who want to see Obama Fail, the American economy Tanking and Obama being blamed for the slow growth of the economy and fewer Job creation, which they want for the Americans to believe that Obama is incompetent and a socialist who does not love America. Bogus claims and spurious accusations of Obama being an incompetent and unable to run Presidential affairs(which they(GOP) artificially crated over the past tow years of his rule) have become a fact.

'If you repeat a lie long enough, it ends up being the truth,' to aver Goebbels. At least, thus far, in defense of Obama, they "Race Card is being overplayed, and few are noting that reality: Obama being African American has been attacked on his side of his African father, but one never hears any attack of his other's side, which is white American, and there is an implicit and tacit acceptance of the fact as if they(Obama's white mother, grandmother and grandfather) do not exist in his life or never existed at all.

With a new coterie of would-be president from the GOP side, one is watching a circus of nattering nabobs rehashing ultra-right views and spewing negativity and pandering to the Tea-Baggers who seem to have the GOP inits vice-grip of profusely anti-American, Anti-Obama, Antigovernment, and they are the ones who were prepared to push the American government over the cliff, under the ruse that the American people would want it that way.

We now know that the Koch Brothers are meddling with Children's education, While Zuckerman has trumpeted the fact that he and his friends do not need the Republicans to speak for them as if they want the tax cuts; he insists that everyone, including the richer people, need to fairly contribute to the well-being of the American economy and nation.The American realpolitik is a nauseating(a la Satre) experience, and it seems to be heading up for much more change as we approach the year of the elections: 2012.

The Novembr 7, 2012 Elections

Obama Reelected by a Minority Majority

Now that the elections have passed, and President Obama has been re-elected in office for the second term, a few things seem to have happened. For one, the electorate has issued a mandate to President Obama to make sure that he taxes the rich, that there is co-operation between the different parties in Congress, immigration should be fixed, and that all negativity that has been pursued by the Republican in the first term of Obama's rule should cease and desist.

The emotions of racism and dislike of Obama from his detractors(The Tea Baggers) and racist White power organizations, and those who do not like that the White House should be occupied by an African American family, have not abated but flared-up. The number of KKK and White Power organizations has bloomed. Some people in several states throughout the US are asking to secede from the United States, and have signed petitions to that effect and posted them on the White House Web Pages.

There was a serious riot that was carried-out by White students in one of the Universities that did not vote for Obama, and one student girl was caught on news camera, during the students' riot saying that, "Obama should be assassinated," and the Secret Service is said to be looking into her and her comments.

Obama's win made null and void Mitch McConnel(R-KY) caucused with his cohorts a day before Obama was inaugurated and bellicosely trumpeted that ,'their task was to see to it that Obama is only a 'one-term President' and. They proceeded to block and filibuster everything Obama tried to pass, even those programs and laws that they the Republicans, had on deck to be passed. With the emergence of the Tea Baggers, racism and divisions within the government deepened into a yawning chasm.

The coming of the Tea Baggers with their incendiary rhetoric, alienated a huge part of the American Minority which in the end elected Obama, proving that America of the future, will have to take this Minority(African Americans, Hispanic and Asians and other minorities from different countries who are now Americans citizens) into account when voting in 2016.

Issues of Concern for the Minority/Majority voting Polity in the US

The recalcitrant and belligerent rhetoric spewed by the Republicans with their head honchos the Tea Baggers, made the minorities take know and hold sway in the final vote of 2012. The minorities felt assailed because of the race, their immigrant status, their second or third or fourth class status in the American dream. the hear from Romney's "self deportation" calls, calling them the '47 percent moochers', too lazy to work and expecting a handout.

They listened to Romney's vicious attack on the Dream Act, on Women and Planned Parenthood, and also saw him close down one of the many companies in the US, whilst campaigning, and shipping those jobs to China; they also watched Romney lie, etch-sketch, and flip-flop his way to the presidency; the noticed that he refused to divulge his taxes beyond two years-whilst most Presidents showed their decades for a decades or more-and pattern which was started by Romney's.

Whilst the slugging went on unabated between Romney and Obama, Romney bungled on his trip overseas in the summer and embarrassing himself in the process; changing format of his doctrine to centrist in the first Presidential debate-having held the opposite of what he has been splurging all over the media about his vague and unsubstantiated policies, and the voting polity saw Romney's unseemly, mean and jingoistic dark side which they felt repelled,in so much that they voted in overwhelming numbers for Obama: the students, the African Americans, Women, Asiatics, Hispanics and the untabulated and invisible numbers of those who have become citizens over the years and come from various countries and cultures around the world.

The vitriolic rants and racist, sexist and very downright mean-spirited mutterings from the Talk Radio on the right, callous and insensitive jibes from the Republican caucus; damning and degrading racial overtones and harsh denunciation of the foreigners and their flooding the American shores crating, supposed, havoc on the American society, were not things that went over the heads of the looming minority, who in the end showed that they are Americans, and they will have to be acknowledge and treated just as fairly as all the white Americans, who Romney targeted and lost despite their overwhelming vote for him.

These Minority-Majority brought to an end the White American's era of entitlement and privilege when the voted in the 7 November 2012, by voting-n Obama for the second term as president. His was the changing of the guard. The outsourcing of everything American and the underdevelopment of the poor Minorities-Majorities has seen the coming of change in the politics in American Realpolitik.

It is this change that this Hub is consistently tracing and highlighting in trying to point out to the changing political landscape and constitution of the voting polity in contemporary America. After their defeat, the Republicans have started to gather their wits about themselves and are talking of wooing the Minority-Majority into their political orb for 2016. Well, that remains to be see… As of now, the Republicans have not earned their votes nor trust of the Minority-Majority, and they seem to have their work cut out for them.

President Obama's Inaugural Speech, 2013The analysis below was wholly written by Deborah White reacting to the Speech gave in his Inaugural speech January 21 2013:

Why Obama's Inaugural speech Was Absolutely Perfect


This morning as I sat in a doctor's office, I overheard the doctor and two twenty-something office workers exchanging memories of their favorite moments from President Obama's inauguration and related televised festivities.

One inspired worker summed, 'When I look at those buildings... the Capitol building, the White House... I feel differently now. I feel so proud... so patriotic!'

'I feel exactly the same way. And despite taking flak on Facebook for declaring Obama's inauguration address to be "absolutely perfect," I stand by my assessment of his speech.'

Why Obama's Inaugural Speech Was Absolutely Perfect

President Obama's inaugural address was a serious-toned speech for very serious times, and it addressed the concerns of all Americans, not just the prosperous or well-connected, the politically active or the African-American community.

It was neither a campaign speech, nor was it a show-off speech, laden with rhetorical flourishes and Martin Luther King-like cadences. It wasn't an ideological speech, honed to please particular constituencies. And thank God, it wasn't chocked with the goofy, new age-style euphemisms that haunted many of his early Democratic primary speeches.

Instead, Obama's words were straightforward, smart and analytical, designed to simply yet concretely communicate his worldview and his priorities. His words were an unflinchingly honest dissection of the state of the union after the Bush administration.

Specifically, I heard from Obama exactly what I hoped to hear... and why I voted for Obama both in the primaries and general election. Among his words that made his speech "absolutely perfect" for me were:

Bush overreaching on violating civil liberties — "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

Bush overreaching with military power — "... power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

Ending the Iraq War - " We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people... "

Bush policies that strongly favored the wealthy — "The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous."

Overt appreciation of US cultural diversity — "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth."

Support to alleviate global poverty — "To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds."

Genuine support for US military personnel — "... we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains."

And most important, Obama affirmed our country's foundational beliefs "... that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Fairness, Decency and Common Sense

President Obama's inaugural address was one of unsentimental fairness, decency and common sense in which he also touched on jobs, education, energy, health care, college affordability and many other issues that touch the lives of all Americans.

(For economic details, see Obama Instills "Audacity of Hope" for Economy by Kimberly Amadeo, About.com's Guide to US Economy.)

Yes, he alluded a few times to his Christian beliefs, and that disturbed some... but they need to get over their narrow-mindedness. Over the years, Barack Obama has repeatedly acknowledged:

"... We are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers," and "... I do not believe that religious people have a monopoly on morality."

(Both quotes taken from Obama's Controversial '06 Speech on Religion & Politics.)

So yes, to my mind, President Barack Obama's first inaugural address was "absolutely perfect."

President Obama's inaugural words gave me great hope for our country's ability to pull out of this horrible mess created by the Bush/Cheney administration, and great confidence in his vision and determination..

Below I am going to post a video of the speech Obama gave and I hope the listener/viewer/reader will make up their own minds from hearing the speech themselves. It is important, too, to note how Obama was reiterating the values and the American credo, walking-back all his listening audience and reminding them what it really means to be an american. This has all bee lost during the pre-election, run to the elections, and the post elections analysis by political talking heads.

And yet, despite the disrespect that has been accorded him by the Republican Party, Obama came back with a succinct and unique presidential address that did not conform to those who called him a "soundbite candidate", and they do a 360 and accuse him of not being a "seriously soundbite-like' pertaining to this Presidential Inaugural speech, Obamas speech was a no-nonsense, fold-up-your-lsleeves message to the Americans and signaled assurance and security to the rest of the world. Now that the speech has been given, it would be interesting to see how the Republicans will respond in the coming months. Here's Obama's speech in its entirety below.

Obama's Americana: "The Land Of Opportunities"

"Politics Is Art Of The Possible"

A Response To Dr. Cornel West

This Whole Piece Was Written By Playthell Benjamin

Anybody who was looking for evidence that history repeats itself need only read my critiques of Dr. Cornel West since the first Bush election – when he thought it was wise to support Ralph Nader over Al Gore. Well, we all know how that worked out. But let me declare from the outset that I consider Cornel West to be one of the most learned and humane citizens to ever call him self an American, and I agree with him 90% of the time.

As a fellow Democratic Socialist we share the same basic vision and hopes for America. But from time to time I am forced to part company and criticize his views on a particular question. In the past we disagreed on his assessment of the character of Dr. WEB Dubois, and the viability of Ralph Nader’s bid for theu presidency and its implications for African American political strategy. And now I passionately disagree with his assessment of President Obama’s political strategy and policies. It is this question that I wish to address in the present commentary.

The differences between me and the learned Dr. West derives from our ways of looking at socio/political reality. Dr. West is a philosopher and theologian, which means he is given to grand mystical musings and philosophical speculations; whereas I rely on the evidentiary rules of the sober historian dispassionately assessing provable facts, and my strategy is determined by the cold realities of the political arena – a heartless place red of tooth and claw where grand speculators, dreamers, preachers and wishful thinkers are devoured like Christians facing the lions in the Circus Maximus of ancient Rome. In other words Dr. West is a moral scold whose actions are motivated by what he believes is right, no matter what, and I am a political animal who is looking for the best deal I can get because politics is the art of the possible!

It’s all well and good to speak in utopian language about everybody loving each other if your work is in the church, temple. Mosque or synagogue. There it is sufficient to speak in vague moral platitudes. Don’t misunderstand me; I too am interested in brotherely love and Christian charity. But in politics you have to have clearly defined earthly goals and a means of achieving your ends.

Alas in America today prayer and high minded ideals won’t deliver the bacon, this means one must find a way to successfully put together coalitions in Congress to get the votes you need for your agenda enacted into law. This is about hard nosed bargaining i.e. horse trading….And compromise! Such is the reality of politics in a participatory democracy. In our system of government we debate the issues, each side takes their case to the voters, and whoever convinces the majority of the electorate carries the day. That’s how it’s done.

In view of this reality, Professor West’s observation in the following passage from his recent NPR interview with I Cox makes no sense.

I know my dear brother, President Obama, has a bust of Martin King right there in the Oval Office, but the question is are is he going to be true to who that Martin Luther King, Jr., actually is? King was concerned about what? The poor. He was concerned about working people. He was concerned about quality jobs. He was concerned about quality housing. He was concerned about precious babies in Vietnam, the way we ought to be concerned about precious babies in Afghanistan and precious babies in Tel Aviv and precious babies in Gaza.

“Martin King was fundamentally committed to the least of these. Of course, he was a Christian soldier for justice from the 25th chapter of Matthew. And so more and more black folk tend to be well-adjusted to Obama’s presidency, but does that mean they’re well-adjusted to injustice? Because we don’t hear our president talking about the new Jim Crow, the prison-industrial complex.”

I am, to say the least, disappointed at this niggling level of analysis from one of our leading critical thinkers and activist public intellectuals. In whose intrests was the President laboring when he expended loads of political capitol to push a national health care plan through Congress? Something popular Presidents of both parties have attempted to do and failed since Teddy Roosevelt proposed it over a century ago! And in whose interests was he laboring when he rammed equal pay for women into law?

Professor West, Pray tell us whose interest he served when he forced BP to establish an open ended fund to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and compesate the victims of the rig blowout, which began with a mandatory deposit of twenty billion dollars? And this at a time when Republicans were apologizing to the oil execs and criticisizing President Obama’s magnificent deal!

It is the clear task of the intellectual left to educate the public as to the real difference between what President Obama is doing and what the Republicans advocate. And for African American intellectuals it is an ancestral imperative!Instead we see leading intelectuals on the left, Professor West chief among them, whining about the fact that he cannot instantly address their favorite complaints, no matter that he is dealing with matters that are more important to stability and home and abroad.

Do we really want our President to be bogged down in discussions about “the prison industrial complex?” Just what country does Professor West think he’s in? The last thing on most of the electorate’s mind – black, white or Hispanic – is the plight of convicts. With black and Hispanic communities plagued by murderous criminals and dope fiends, many people believe there should be more prisons! This writer included!!!

But then, I live in Harlem, while Professor West resides in the pristine lilly white well protected precints of Princetown. And most white Americans certainly don’t want to hear about how hard convicts are having it when they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and personally know good law abiding people – friends and family – who have lost the ability to do both.

I voted for Barack Obama, and campaigned for him with my voice, pen and personal efforts. And he’s doing just what I want him to do. But then, I voted for a President, not a preacher or protest leader. The difference between what I expect and what Dr. West longs for is clear from his comment in the Playboy interview, where he wished the President was “more Martin Luther King like.” This statement, like most of his critiques of the President, reveals that the good Professor is clueless in regard to the type of leadership the present moment requires form the Chief Executive of these United States.

This is not about rethorical moralizing; it’s about the exercise and retention of power – which is the ability to do what you want when you want to doit, to get others to do what you want when you want to do it, and to get the most, and the best, of what ever there is to get! Hence we need sober pragmatist who know how to keep their eyes on the prize; who see the world as it is and not how we wish it to be. Cornel West’s evocation of Dr. King demonstrates that in spite of his prodigious learning he does not understand this fundamental point.

Dr. King was a charismatic revivalist in a mass transformative movement whose objective was to change the moral tenor of American civilization – to persuade racist whites to recognize the error of their ways in race relations and repent. Hence his training as a theologian and philosopher was, when coupled with his verbal virtuosity as an Afro-American preacher, ideal tools for his task. But Barack Obama is the President of the USA, a demanding job unlike any other on earth, for which a different skills set is required.

To begin with, Dr. king did not have to seek the votes of a diverse constituency who are largely non-black in order to keep his position as head of SCLC and “leader” of the Civil Rights Movement. But Barack Obama does. Dr. Kings’ objective was to engage in “creative” disruptions of society in order to dramatize his point. Which is the proper role of outside agitators, but as President Barack is the ultimate insider. So his interest is in maintaining the orderly working of society with as few disruptions as possible.

This explains why revolutionaries so often became staunch law and order advocates once they seize power. It is in the nature of things. One’s perspective changes with one’s position in society. Revolutionaries are totally concerned with disrupting the existing order and seizing power; therefore the tactics they choose are suited to achieving that goal. But once they succeed in taking power then they have the problem of governing, creating a society more fulfilling to its citizen’s aspirations that the government they overthrew. And that requires a radically different program; in their new role the old tactics are no longer useful.

Barack Obama is tasked with rebuilding the nation from the rubble of eight years of disastrous Republican mismanagement of the nation’s affairs. It is, to say the least, a Herculean task even if all things remained equal and he received no opposition from the Grand Obstructionist Party. But our President has not been so lucky. His task is more difficult than that of the Hebrew slaves who were ordered to build bricks with no straw, or that of Booker T. Washington in Tuskegee Alabama a mere generation after slavery who was tasked with “building buildings in America with no money.”

Since, as Harold Cruse correctly argued, “Americans are anti-historical,’ let me remind the good Professor that when Barack Obama took office the nation’s economy was virtually crumbling around him, and he was presented with two foreign wars both bogged down in a quagmire. And he has been burdened by a do-nothing obstructionist Republican minority, and a right-wing mass media apparatus dedicated to scandalizing his name, casting doubt on the legitimacy of his Presidency, and apparently trying to get him assassinated.

If I believed all the vicious lies they tell about him 24/7 on WABC AM and Fox television, I’d want to knock him off myself. Then the critics on the left have been only marginally better. Both extremes exhibit what the distinguished American historian Richard J. Hofatader calls “the paranoid style in American politics.” After reading Dr. West’s comments the great novelist and peerless essayist Ishmael Reed has concluded in his ever insightful and candid fashion: “progressives” and their front men are out to destroy Obama just as they did Humphrey, Carter, etc. they’re staying home and pouting will lead to Republican victory and a corporate plant plain victory in 2012. Then you can forget about Social Security, Medicaid, welfare, etc.” because of progressives’ ego.”

And from where I sit this prescient brother has got a point. Everything that President Obama has done since he took office has been to try and fulfill the promises he made to bring about substantive change that we can believe in. And this has sparked a vilification campaign like none that I have witnessed in my lifetime. The Republican opposition has made no bones about the fact that they have one objective: To bring Obama down. I believe, as the courageous comic Wanda Sykes said at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last year, what some of these crackers are doing verges on treason!

And now we hear Professor West, a moral clarion of the democratic socialist left, railing about the President being more concerned about saving Wall Street than unemployed workers. Since I have written a piece on the subject I won’t belabor it here– for an intelligent discussion of this question see: ‘Can President Obama solve the Unemployment Crisis?”The plain fact is that the only way a President can directly influence the unemployment situation is to make the federal government the employer of last resort.

Yet in the present political climate that’s impossible because there are not enough votes in Congress to pass another economic stimulus bill – despite the fact that the country clearly needs one. In fact, the Republicans are running against the last stimulus package, although it prevented an imminent castastrophe that would have resulted in the firing of thousands of critical public sector workers all across the country and deepened the recession. Hence to blame President Obama for high unemployment is ridiculous, and to criticize him for bailing out the banks at the same time, when failure to do so would have brought on a world wide economic collapse, is well….just plain silly!

But what is even more disturbing in Professor West’s case, his criticism seems to be sparked by the fact that he feels ignored, or snubbed, by President Obama. Recalling an incident where he was in attendance when the President spoke, Dr. West tells Tony Cox:

“He made a beeline to me, though, brother, and he was deeply upset. He talked to me like I was a Cub Scout, and he was a pack master, you know what I mean? I said, well, my mother and father raised me right. I respect my dear brother, but I don’t like to be demeaned and humiliated in that way, and I didn’t get a chance to respond to him. And I hope maybe at some time we can. But it was very, it was a very ugly kind of moment, it seems to me, and that disturbs me because then it raises the question for me: Does he have a double standard for black critics as opposed to white critics? Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, a whole host of brilliant, courageous critics say all kinds of things, and he treats them with respect. They get invited to the White House. I say the same thing, he talks to me like I’m a Cub Scout.”

That Dr. West felt the need to tell this tale is bad enough, but that he did so without irony or shame on public radio is shocking! It seems to never have occured to the self-important Professor that the three pundits he mentioned are among the best and the brighest of the punditocricy, and since they all appear on the editorial page of the New York Times, all the most powerful people in the world reads them!

On the other hand, despite his brillance – or perhaps because of it – his audience is far more limited. And besides, precisely because he is a brilliant and broadly learned African American intellectual Barack had every right to expect him to understand what the real deal is. And to be pissed off that he didn’t! I know I feel like pulling a Stanley Crouch and bitch slapping him myself when I read what he says sometimes.

Yet when all’s said and done, the most disturbing development is that on some critical questions the left’s position is becoming indistinguishable from the reactionary right. The anti-bailout hokum is a graphic case in point. Instead of closing ranks behind our visionary and courageous President and defending him from the Tea Party Brown Shirts, employing their formidable intellectual skills to counter the relentless ideological war being waged against him on the right, the left, who appear to be content in the role of a permanent national debating society with no chance of taking power, is finding common cause with the enemy!

Yet in the face of all these seemingly insurmountable obstacles Barack Obama’s performance has been nothing short of outstanding! I’d give him an A+ faster than the Lone Ranger could draw his gun. While Professor West may seek salvation in some heavenly realm, I shall abide by Kwame Nkrumah’s axiom: “Seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else will be added there unto.”

Thus far in my Hub, I have herd pundits come to Obama's defence. But Playthell's response to Cornell West's critiquing Obama, really gives one the an honest and complete sense of the what the ordinary African man in the street's take on Obama, which is filled with authentic tone and sensibility. A lot of people are playing the tricks of divide and conquer that has so fully been displayed by the Tea Baggers when they caricatured Obama, tagged him as "Other" and "Not American"(in this case), I am talking about those people who totally and clearly dislike Obama. Then there are those copy-cats, who neither stand for anything and fall for everything, ape their detractors and former masters in their dislike, caricaturing and regarding Obama as the "other". and begin assiduously to work on making it as a manifestation of their beliefs and views of and about Obama in their speeches to their followers and admirers-Cornell West in this case.

It is also interesting to note that Playthell makes a clear and clean distinction between being a President of a country, and Being a professor/preacher and community acitivists. The demands and skills one has to have as a President are totally and markedly different from doing all the things Cornell West is involved with. Playthell goes to the points out that Being a President demands one be cognizant of the fact that "Politics Is Art Of The Possible". Playthell also debunks the myth and discordant view that compares Obama with Martin Luther King Jr. What he does with this issue, Playthell, is to show How when Obama spoke of change, he at least understood that ruling America is not agitating about it, but delivering as he did thus far in signing so many things into law, taking of the poor's housing, healthcare, women's equal pay, recognition of Gay Rights and Same Sex Marriages, eliminating "Don'tAsk And Don't Tell" for army recruits, ending the war in Iraq, and now en route to ending the one in Afghanistan(as witnessed during Karazai's visit, how Obama demonstrated by giving his vision s to where he wants the country to go, during running for the second term, up to his his Inaugural speech, given through his video above.

When Obama stumped in 2008 that he was talking about the "Change People Could Believe In", in the paragraph that what I have listed is part of the change(despite being blocked all the first four years of his rule by the Republicans), that Obama had called for. Plyathell's article therefore, buttresses the topic of this article which states that the is a denial of democracy in America, and if it succeeds, it will under-develops the notion of American "exceptionalism" and its army of the jobless masses; and this Hub was also pointing out to the fact of the changing realpolitik of yesteryear America-to the one where we see as a coalition of minorities that have become the latter-day majority in America.

This has changed the Politics in American Realpolitik', in that this new emerged majority demands that their interests in immigration, jobs, end to racism, women's rights to health-care be respected, students given an opportunity, they agree with Obama's ideas about rebuilding and retooling America, passing a health-care law, and many other interests which they deem important and necessary for them. Definitely, change has come to America population constitution and constituency, the rise of 'miorities' not of European descent, and the change and shift in the paradigm as to what what America should look like, and how the dreams of its diverse population ought to look like. I will simple say, that the new face that is now enveloping America because of the Minorities which is now the Majority, is that of a Human Face.

Reflections on the Black Obama Haters

I would like to post this piece on this Hub by Playthell Benjamin about Obama:

"

Barack Must keep Playing Past the Noise

The best thing President Obama has done from a political perspective – which is to say decisions that would help him and other Democrats get elected and then get his legislative agenda passed through both houses of Congress – was to pay the black leftist and nationalist factions no mind! Having cut my political teeth in those ideological enclaves, I would never have believed that I would one day come to view them as a menace to black progress. Yet I am convinced that had Barack attended Tavis Smile’s black gabfest, where all sorts of reckless rhetoric was thrown about, and allowed Cornell West to define his administration’s legislative priorities, while adopting the Black Agenda rhetoric of Glenn Ford, he would have never been President and the Republicans would have been able to take over both Houses of Congress!!

What would America have looked like had that happened? Well John McCain would have been President for the last four years, and there is the possibility that the Republicans would have fucked things up so badly a Democrat would have won the last election. But it would have been too late to stop the Republicans from adding two more right wing zealots to the Supreme Court, and stacking the Federal Courts around the country with same. And it would be too late to stop a President McCain from bombing Iran and escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a futile effort to win the elusive victory that escaped him in Vietnam. (search John McCainon this blog.)

We might also be in a war on the Korean Peninsula, all of which would add another couple of trillion to our war debt – and we could already have completely rebuilt the nation’s infrastructure with half of what we squandered on the Iraq and Afghan wars. The economy would be in shambles, because there would have been no 800 billion stimulus, the auto industry would have disappeared and McCain’s self-correcting “free market” fiddle faddle would have made the Bush depression deeper – alas chances are we would be in a second “Great Depression” that would be worse than the first one. And all those now yapping about how the President bailed out the bankers – which was actually done by Bush but Obama would have been forced to do it too – while not addressing black poverty instead, would be singing a different tune. They would be crying about the collapse of the financial system and how it took everybody they know down with it.

Since McCain would not be a “food stamp President” like Barack Obama, there would be millions more added to the ranks of those Americans who are literally locked in a Darwinian struggle for food, because there is an acute shortage of jobs at a living wage. The tax code would encourage investment overseas, including those “job creators” who have created ten million jobs overseas while the unemployment rate soars here at home. And while millions of American workers suffer from structural unemployment these patently unpatriotic acts would be accompanied by super patriotic rhetoric of the sort we hear from the likes of Mitt Romney and Darrell Issa.

Of course there would be no Affordable Health Care Act, no Lilly Ledbetter Act, the social safety net constructed under New Deal and Great Society legislation would be completely shredded, and any form of Affirmative –Action would now be illegal, ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. And the way that reactionary racist grease ball Antonin Scalia feels about the Voting Rights Act, which he has called “a racial entitlement,” would be more widely shared by other Judges on the High Court. And thus the protections afforded minorities against the efforts of white Republicans to scrap the law and rig elections would have succeeded for all intents and purposes.

There would have been no 20 billion dollar fund from British Petroleum to clean up the Gulf oil spill and compensate the businesses that were hurt due to the spill – some of which were Afro-American owned. In fact the Republican Congressman who now heads the committee tasked with oversight of the oil industry apologized to BP and called President Obama’s demand that they set up the recovery fund a display of “Chicago gangster” tactics. The historically black colleges would be 100 million poorer, and some would be out of business altogether. Plus the banks would still be making millions off unnecessary fees from student loans, If the Republicans had been in office the last four years, with their aversion to government spending, investment in the scientific community would be a trickle of what it was under President Obama.

However listening to the President’s harshest critics you would not know that any of these achievements took place; some of historic proportions, especially the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Affordable Care Act, the Economic Recovery Act, and the Dodd –Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. All of these monumental achievements are denounced by the President’s detractors on the right and ignored by his critics on the left – once more revealing themselves to be undeclared allies. Yet this legislation saved the nation from economic ruin, provided health care options for many people who had none and made it illegal for Wall Street bankers to engage in the kinds of practices that led to the crash.

But our verbose Dr. Cornel West, a grandstanding spotlight hog and shameless opportunist, who has set himself up as Barack Obama’s grand inquisitor and moral scold, calls the President a tool of the Plutocrats and Wall Street Bankers. Since much of what Dr. West has to say regarding politics is little more than mindless prattle and meaningless moralizing, it bears little resemblance to reality. The fact is that his bad political judgment is clouded by a gargantuan ego, pompous pretentions to piety, plus a tendency toward wishful thinking; all of which renders him irrelevant in the search for effective policy options to effectively deal with the mind boggling problems that confront President Obama.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily the President’s critics forget the disastrous situation he inherited, with multiple crises at home and abroad confronting him upon entering the Oval Office. And here I am referring to those critics on the left who consider themselves politically progressive, because the right is engaged in subterfuge with no regard for the truth; they are pledged to deny this President any victories even if it means telling the most outrageous lies and manufacturing scandals.

Alas, it is well known that the leaders of the Grand Obstructionist Party, in and out of office, pledged to oppose any policy President Obama proposed. In fact they met clandestinely in a Washington hotel room the night of his inauguration and took something akin to a blood oath to wreck Obama’s presidency by constant obstruction and thus make him a one term President.

However all these seasoned political pros made a serious mistake: they underestimated their opponent worse than Sonny Liston underestimated Muhammad Ali. Barack won reelection and they Republicans are still recovering from the shock. They are clearly in a state of panic. They equally missed their mark in assessing Nancy Pelosi, who will surely be remembered in history as one of the most effective Speakers to ever run the House Of Representatives. This smart savvy lady from Frisco, in league with the Chi-Town Kid, made a great team and passed historic legislation.

While there is an embarrassment of riches from which to choose the Wall Street regulation regime is an excellent example of their legacy. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform andConsumer Protection Act signed into law by President Obama is the strictest legislation regulating Wall Street in American history. It ends the kind of reckless speculation and assumption of risks that led to the financial collapse under Bush, when there was hardly any regulation at all and trillions of dollars in American wealth disappeared, throwing millions of Americans out of work. And there would have been millions more without a massive government bailout.

Dodd-Frank also offers protections to consumers who are victimized by ruthless mortgage bankers and sleazy lenders who charge exorbitant interests for short term loans. These are critically important developments for the American people, especially Afro-Americans, but the House refuses to fund the agencies that are tasked with enforcing the new regulations, making them the disloyal opposition. For they have betrayed the trust of the American people by refusing to fund programs acted into law their elected representatives passed in a majority vote.

Alas the great work Of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi on behalf of the American people was halted when the Grand Obstructionist Party took back the House just two years later; little of importance has been passed in the House since. I wrote a commentary titled “Triumph of the Untutored Mob,” which argues that this election proved Thomas Jefferson was right when he warned that “an ignorant electorate would elect and return the worse people to power.”

It was an act of self- immolation to turn the House of Representatives over to a Republican Party with right-wing zealots, who called themselves “Tea Party Patriots,” setting the legislative agenda. Yet millions of Americans voted to sabotage their government by sending 66 people to Congress who had publicly declared their hatred for government and vowed to dismantle it; now they expect their party to govern the affairs of the vast and complex nation effectively. It is madness.

When the Republicans wrecked the economy with policies that resulted in the crash of 1929 that brought on the Great Depression, it took them over 40 years before gain control of the House again, but two years after the Bush crash they put a Republican Party in charge of the people’s house who were even more incompetent and reckless than the bums who just wrecked the country. Yet we hear little about this from the cabal of anti-Obama whiners, several of whom sport fancy academic titles but when we actually peruse their writings in search of serious policy proposals instructing us on the route the President should take in order to realize their hopes and dreams, like Mother Hubbard we find the cupboard is bare. They are all blow and no go!

I could call them out by name but you know who they are….and they do too! I just don’t want to give them any more publicity; that’s what they live for. Some of them don’t really care what you say about them so long as you get their names right. Hence I shall refer to them collectively as the Crazy Coon Platoon; it is the most accurate name I could conjure up for a group of clueless blacks on the left and right who have accused President Obama of everything from promoting sodomy and child murder to destroying the Auto-industry.

Some even denounced the President’s commencement speech to the young men at Morehouse College, a speech which contained time honored themes that has contained the bedrock values of Afro-American culture that I grew up hearing and that black colleges have always stressed. One of the most boisterous critics of the Morehouse speech, that baldheaded buffon /failed academic Boyce Watkins, thinks its cute to cotunuously refer to the President as “bi-racial” in an attempt to question his blackness.

Well, Herman Caine is black as midnight in a coal mine and he is what the old folks in Florida used to call “a ass kissin white folks nigger.” What a silly thing to make an issue of, especially since Boyce looks like his ancestry may well lay in China with his pie face and big Bhudda head. But this crowd, inspite of their blacker than thou posture, have spent their academic careers in white colleges – you couldn’t get them to teach at a black college for love nor money!

Crazy Corny West even called the President a war criminal! This charge leaves no doubt that the Doctor of Philosophy is a verbose hysteric who appears to know nothing about warfare and the requirements of national security when confronted with an enemy like the Islamic Jihadists: who are transnational fanatics that believe they are carrying out the will of God and do not recognize the rules of war as laid out by the Geneva Conventions.

The Jihadists have repeatedly demonstrated that they care nothing about civilian lives whether Muslim or Christian. In fact they consider their main enemy to be those Muslims with whom they have theological differences, as the 1800 year old conflict between the Sunni and Shiite factions will testify. While Dr. West decries the regrettable loss of civilian lives as a result of the deployment of drones in the fight against the Islamic Jihadists, he does not offer what he would consider a more efficient and humane way of going about fighting this shadowy and ruthless enemy who spend their every waking hour plotting a more spectacular attack on the US – which is to say us – than the 911 disaster.

Their ultimate objective is to set off a nuclear weapon or at least a high radiation “dirty bomb” in New York City…or some other heavily populated American metropolis. It is President Obama’s job to see to it that that don’t succeed, an objective that cannot be achieved by moral persuasion! War has always been an ugly business; those who have experience it first-hand say “war is hell!” And those who are knowledgeable about its history knows it is by nature a bloody and inhumane enterprise in which atrocities are common fare and for which civilians have little stomach. Yet when a nation comes under attack the civilians do not hesitate to turn to the soldier for salvation.

That’s why all able bodied civilians should be subjected to a military draft. For if everyone is required to bear the burdens of war it would accomplish two things: Every family would have to sacrifice their loved ones and would therefore be reluctant to go to war, and we would all be forced to confront the reality of war; instead of the sanitized version the public is getting now. In the meantime those who are whining about the civilian casualties resulting from drone warfare should spend some time watching the Military Channel on cable television. There they can see actual films of combat going back to the First World War in the early years of the 20th century.

In World War II fifty million people were killed – most were not soldiers. Do Cornel West and the rest of the moral scolds who now call President Obama a “war criminal” include all the presidents of the past who have been tasked with waging war in defense of this nation? There are war crimes to be sure, but to simply say that any actions in which civilians are killed, when that was clearly not the intention, constitutes a war crime?

By any objective measure, drone warfare is the least destructive method of fighting an enemy who hides among the civilian populace. It is certainly less destructive than deploying ground forces, and it cost far less in American blood and treasure. Yet even after I heard a spokesman for Iraq and Afghan war veterans tell Corny West this he keeps on saying (Look under the section titled “On Dr. Cornel West on this blog for a discussion of the incident)

It is precisely because war is the ultimate horror show that it’s details are kept secret – along with the fact that it is wise to keep your operational strategies out of the purview of your enemies. Hence those who consider Sergeant Bradley Manning – who turned over 700,000, classified American military documents to Wikileaks to be posted on the internet – a hero are at best confused on the issue.

To be sure, some of the information contained in those documents constitutes indisputable evidence of war crimes, and one could sympathize with the crisis of conscience experienced by Private Manning. But he should have been selective in the documents he chose to expose for public scrutiny. Indiscriminately dumping hundreds of thousands of secret documents entrusted to his care could imperil the military mission and for that he must, and will, be severely punished. Furthermore, Bradley Manning is a very confused guy who was undergoing a protracted personal crisis that had but little to do with is military experience. For a discussion see my review of the recently released documentary “We steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.”

No military organization can function successfully if any of its members along the chain of command can feel free to leak classified documents to the press. That’s why the Attorney General tapped into the phone messages and e-mails of certain journalists that had written about covert actions which thwarted a terrorist action that would have blown up civilian airliner. And despite the anguished self-righteous cries of my colleagues in the press: He was right! And he should stand his ground on this question; turning the tables on the press by putting the question this way: What is of greater importance, the national security of the US or the right of the press to publish secret military documents?

Exposing ongoing covert actions can put the lives of brave Americans who routinely risk everything in the service of this nation in even greater risk. And when one considers the fact that the reporters motives are often no more exalted than getting a scoop on his competition and gaining notoriety for themselves, the aura of nobility evaporates and the claim of heroism is tarnished.

The question for the American people is what is more important: preventing another Jihadist attack on an American city that rivals or surpasses that on 9-11, or the prerogative of the press to publish anything they want any time they want? To publish or not to publish: that is the paramount question facing the American people and the fate of the nation might well hang in the balance.

It is instructive that the arguments of Wikileaks’ champions, and those who view Sergeant Manning as a hero who should be hailed not jailed, lack this kind of nuanced analysis of the complex issues surrounding their actions. What we get instead is an endless stream of self-righteous prattle in which everything is painted is stark black and white Manichean dualities between good and evil. But, alas, the world is far more complicated than that and the matter of war and peace is rife with contradictions.

In the world of instant mass communications those contradictions are laid bare when secret military documents are made public. And when you have a reckless political opposition like the contemporary Republican Party, whose motivations rise no higher than to embarrass the President and Attorney General for partisan advantage, it can hamper their efforts to maintaining national security. The hearings now being conducted by that repeat criminal offender Darrell Issa’s Government Oversight Committee is a case in point.

Here the representatives of the Grand Obstructionists Party, unable to win at the polls despite their political dirty tricks that attempted to limit voting opportunities for Democrats, are abusing their Congressional authority to nullify the dramatic Democratic victory in the last presidential election. Nothing demonstrates their hypocrisy more than the hearings around the attack on the American embassy at Benghazi, when it is they who voted to cut $300 million from the budget for embassy security.

The investigation into the Internal Revenue Service that threatens to ruin the careers of civil servants who were just doing their jobs and the ongoing attempts to discredit the Attorney General – who is a saint compared to Nixon’s AG John Mitchell, who was convicted of committing crimes in office – are equally hypocritical. Not to mention the fact that Republicans blame Barack for not knowing what an IRS office in the mid-west is doing in trying to enforce a complicated law, when a group of Naval and Marine officers – including the notorious colonel Ollie North – ran an illegal operation designed to subvert the Boland Act from the White house basement but accepts President Ronald Reagan’s explanation that he knew nothing of it!

It is the role of serious intellectuals to point these contradictions out; especially Black Intellectuals who have set themselves up as President Obama’s inquisitors. The recent revelations about the massive domestic surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency, which again raises the question about the requirements of national security vs. individual privacy in protecting Americans against terrorist attacks. But they are curiously silent on these critical but controversial matters.

Instead, what we get is a bunch of meaningless noise that more closely resembles a collective temper tantrum than a serious analytical discourse. Perhaps the reason they are hollering so loud and saying such crazy things is because nobody is paying them any mind….thank the lord. In spite of their boisterous and incessant caterwauling during the last election, Afro-Americans still voted for President Obama over 90%! The haters must be quite a frustrated lot after witnessing all of their efforts come to naught despite big help from right-wing white racists. The question is who did the black haters vote for? Inquiring minds want to know.

Many Have Still Not figured Him Out.. I believe this will be last we will see of a President for the People, by the People, and President of the People.
Many Have Still Not figured Him Out.. I believe this will be last we will see of a President for the People, by the People, and President of the People.

Poor In The Land Of Plenty

Virtually everything worthwhile written about American poverty is essentially about moral failure. It is the failure of the society (according to liberals) or of the poor themselves (according to conservatives) or of institutions and individuals together in a complex combination (according to centrists). Poverty violates core American values. It challenges the American dream’s promise of prosperity for anyone who works hard, a faith central to the national ethic. Richard Wright called this faith “the truth of the power of the wish.”

The dream dies in the early pages of Sasha Abramsky’s intricate study, “The American Way of Poverty.” Abramsky, a freelance journalist who has written for The Nation, The Atlantic and other publications, regards inequality “as a social control mechanism” supported by financial interests’ belief in “the desirability of oligarchy.” He endorses the notion, popular on the left, that poverty is not just a glitch but a feature of the American system, “a corrosive brew,” he writes, “capable of eating away at the underpinnings of democratic life itself.”

His observant reporting is less doctrinaire than these grand assertions. He travels the United States meeting the poor, whose wrenching tales he inserts in tight vignettes among data-driven analyses and acute dissections of government programs. The country he portrays is damaged by indifference at high levels — his American heroes are not in Congress or boardrooms — but is rescued here and there by caring citizens at the grass roots, their inventive programs achieving small successes.

Abramsky presents himself as an heir to Michael Harrington, whose book “The Other America,” published in 1962, awakened parts of the political establishment to the shadows of poverty beneath the country’s gleaming affluence. But that work came during the civil rights movement, which was already sensitizing Americans to social injustice. Fifty-one years later, injustice does not readily incite outrage. This is so even as millions of middle-class Americans, in free fall during the economic collapse that began around 2008, have had a taste of what it means to be poor.

The absence of a strong movement for change is striking, especially given the diversity Abramsky finds as he maps the landscape of poverty. “There are people with no high school education who are poor,” he writes, “but there are also university graduates on food bank lines. There are people who are poor because they have made bad choices, gotten addicted to drugs, burned bridges with friends and family — and then there are people who have never taken a drug in their lives, who have huge social networks, and who still can’t make ends meet.”

The destitute include those “who have never held down a job, and others who hold down multiple, but always low-­paying, jobs, frequently for some of the most powerful corporations on earth.” There are the chronically poor — “children whose only hot meals are what they are given at school” — and the newly poor who have lost the middle-class comfort of “huge suburban houses and expensive cars.”

Many of these people’s wounds are intimate and invisible to outsiders. Frank Nicci, a chef in Pennsylvania who lost his leg to diabetes and his job to his ill health, could not even afford to pick up his 8-year-old son for their monthly custodial visits. Lorenza and Jorge Caro, living in a storage room in New Mexico, regularly ran out of propane during the winter and relied on herbs and Tylenol for medical treatment. A 40-year-old mother in California, laid off from her job, had reached the lifetime limit for welfare and so was denied benefits after she had a new baby; she became homeless, and her older son had to quit college to support her. A Hawaii woman named Emily could never free herself from the legacy of a family racked by alcoholism and violence.

“What should we do,” Abramsky asks, “with someone like Emily?” His answer is not to blame the victim, and he skewers conservatives for doing so. Whether poverty “is caused by dysfunction, or the dysfunction is itself a product of the poverty, or, as is likely, the dysfunction and the poverty interact in ever more complex feedback loops, for the larger community to wash its hands of the problem represents an extraordinary failure of the moral imagination.”

Abramsky has written an ambitious book that both describes and prescribes. He reaches across a wide range of issues — including education, housing and criminal justice — in a sweeping panorama of poverty’s elements. Assembling them in one volume forces him to be superficial on occasion, but that price is worth paying to get the broad scope. In considering solutions, it’s crucial to understand how the disparate problems of poor families interact in mutual reinforcement.

Drawing from his own and others’ ideas, Abramsky proposes a host of potential remedies, chiefly by government as the great mobilizer of financial resources for the “commons,” by which he means common good, common assets and common sense. Poverty is less a “tragedy” than a “scandal,” he declares, the result of “decisions taken, or not taken, by political and economic leaders” and accepted by voters. Different decisions can be made, he argues, if Americans have the will. He might have given more attention to the private sector, which creates most jobs, after all. But he believes there is plenty of room to tax upper incomes.

Some of Abramsky’s fixes are no-­brainers: Let a struggling college student get food stamps even if she can’t find a job, for example; don’t make her quit school to be eligible. Finance school lunch programs for needy children flexibly, not just at the year’s beginning, so a midyear recession that drives more families into poverty doesn’t leave children hungry. If Abramsky had also traced the chain reaction of poor infant and childhood nutrition to impaired brain development and poor school performance, he would have strengthened his argument.

The risk of stepping into the policy weeds is that you sometimes stumble, as Abramsky does in his bold proposal for an Educational Opportunity Fund. Comparable to Social Security and Medicare, it could provide as much as $20,000 for each child at birth, to grow over time into “a near-complete subsidy for their higher education,” he writes. But even if $20,000 were to grow as fast as college costs, it would cover less than half of one year in the Ivy League, and only about a year at a state university. And according to Abramsky’s plan, the fund would be financed by adding between 0.25 percent and 1 percent to the payroll tax, which is a regressive flat tax of the kind he denounces later in the book for hitting low-wage earners hardest.

Those who don’t go to college would get money from the educational fund as “a near-guarantee of economic security in old age,” Abramsky writes. He also condemns federal cutbacks in funds for job training. But he does not lay out a plan for comprehensive vocational education, and he overlooks the increasing support for European-style apprenticeship programs being voiced by some American economists. Antipoverty

measures need to help people who fall through the cracks of the private economy.

Even with his book’s few lapses, Abramsky has invited serious rethinking and issued a significant call to action. Meanwhile, the American dream remains the American myth.

Already the normal in New York City and Throughout the U.S.A.

A homeless man on a park bench in Brooklyn
A homeless man on a park bench in Brooklyn | Source

How Does Outsourcing Affect the U.S. Economy?

How outsourcing affects the US economy is a matter of great debate. For those to the political right, this practice will have an overall positive effect on the US economy, since it saves money for companies, opens up opportunities for greater entrepreneurship in the US, and leads to more Americans holding higher level jobs. Critics suggest hiring foreign workers has an immediate effect on the US economy by stripping many Americans of jobs they would have performed, particularly by semi-skilled or skilled laborers. The way that companies are taxed based on outsourcingmay decrease a corporation’s tax debt and thus decrease federal spending.

Both sides on this issue and all those who try to navigate a middle road between the two sides, have some valid points. It is true that outsourcing has led to job loss in the US, and has had a detrimental effect on those people who may be only minimally qualified to work. It’s also the case that there are plenty of skilled labor jobs being outsourced to foreign countries. The loss is not only to people with minimal job skills.

A problem for those Americans who are impoverished, and might take minimal skill jobs is that it is now much harder to get jobs of this type. When President Clinton enacted the Welfare to Work plan in the 1990s, he was attempting to encourage people to get back to work so as to reduce government sending in welfare. Unfortunately, with fewer jobs available for unskilled workers, people may find themselves in exceptional poverty. Poverty does not benefit the US economy since it reduces consumer spending and tax revenues.

Even in the middle classes, there are plenty of jobs that are now outsourced. This has been particularly the case in the computer and technology industry. Again, inability to find work means inability to purchase homes, spend money, and profit companies. When people don’t buy, corporations that produce things don’t make money, which can thus “trickle down” to fewer jobs available and a greater desire to outsource to make things more cheaply so they will be more attractive to consumers.

Those supporting outsourcing say that lowering expenses of corporations will create jobs. There are plenty of government agencies that outsource some of their work, saving them millions of dollars, a direct effect on the US economy and on federal spending. A common theory contends that being able to pay people lower wages for work means that companies will be able to produce things with less expense and transfer this saving to consumers. Lower prices may mean more consumer spending, and companies will be able to hire more workers in the US because they’re paying less for workers outside of it.

Further, many argue that giving jobs to workers in less developed countries improves those countries economically and increases trade for US products. It also increases a country’s ability to pay back debts to the US, and may promote better political relationships. Companies economically benefit by selling their products in other countries. This means they can hire more people in the US, lower their prices on products for US consumers.

There is another “side” to the issue of outsourcing that needs to be addressed. Not all people in other countries economically benefit from outsourced jobs, and some companies aren’t dedicated to providing humane working conditions. Outsourced work may be performed by children, or in inhumane working conditions. Abuses of foreign employees might not benefit US trade or political relationships.

Outsourcing remains a difficult issue, but it does remain. Virtually no one, on any side of the argument concedes that outsourcing can be eliminated completely. There are those who feel that corporations are evading taxes and depriving the government of needed money and suggest corporations should be taxed for outsourcing, and rewarded for keeping jobs within the US. Others feel the temporary loss of jobs will be followed by greater economic growth in the US and will ultimately be worth the cost.(WiseGeek)

Poverty Lines have increased dramatically in the US

People standing in line waiting waiting to fill-up boxes at the Living Faith Assembly Church
People standing in line waiting waiting to fill-up boxes at the Living Faith Assembly Church | Source
Check out this chart from EPI, which shows how much money it takes for a family of four to live in various cities:
Check out this chart from EPI, which shows how much money it takes for a family of four to live in various cities: | Source

Unemployment and Joblessness Along With Poverty Rocks America

As the political wrangling becomes the order of the ay in the U.S. ongress. poverty has taken a strong grip and hold on the poeple. there are very many articles written on this subject, and with the recent cut on SNAPP(reduction of Foodstamps, these lines have even grown longer, and there is a visible strain on the food pantries throughout the country who are barely able to keep up with the demand for food by the poor of America.

If the articles below are anything to go by, there is a real crisis going on in Americ. The rich and very mean-spirited Tea Baggers have really made it possible for the poor to feel poverty, just because they "Hate" Obama with such a blind and reckless fury and passion, that they have stopped governing and have obfuscated and obstructed everything he has tried to up to and beyond the writing of this Hub.So that, As Millions Living Above the Poverty Line, They Also Are Struggling to get by. Julian Berman posted the following article addressing the issue:

"For nearly 30 years, Elena Keating made a career helping low-income Americans find and keep affordable housing. Now, she's the one struggling.

Keating, 48, used to make about $33 an hour as a housing counselor and assistant affordable housing coordinator for a small California city. But she's been out of work for the past nine months. Now she can't afford to pay $2,000 dollars in mortgage and property taxes each month without a California program that helps struggling homeowners. She barely covers her health insurance, bills and living expenses with the $900 unemployment insurance check she gets every two weeks.

"You don't want to be 48, asking your 80-something parents for help," said Keating, who lives in a three-bedroom house in Marin County, Calif. "There's a time every month where it's very scary and I have nothing. Right now I have $40 until my next check, which will be here on the 25th."

Keating is one of millions in this country just scraping by. Forty-five percent of Americans lack basic economic security, or the ability to pay for necessities like housing, utilities, food, health care, child care and transportation, according to a report released Monday by the nonprofit Wider Opportunities for Women.

The findings, which are based on working age adults' earnings and household incomes, underscore earlier research suggesting the federal poverty rate, announced at fifteen percent by the Census Bureau on Tuesday, underestimates the true number of struggling Americans.

“The poverty rate is a very blunt tool. Although it does tell us about different demographic groups, it doesn’t really go much beyond that,” Shawn McMahon, acting president and CEO of WOW, told The Huffington Post. “It’s very important to focus on people who are living above the poverty rate but still lack the means for security. And there are millions of them.”

"Indeed, in 615 cities across the country it takes a total incme of at least twice the federal poverty line for a family with three or fewer children to afford basic expenses, according to a budget calculator developed by the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, earlier this year.

The official poverty measure, which is sometimes criticized for ignoring critical information like location and the cost of housing, is determined using the price of certain food staples nationwide and adjusting for inflation.

The large share of the population struggling to pay bills includes Americans of all types, the WOW report found. More than one-fifth of homes headed by a college graduate and 24 percent of Americans working full-time can't make ends meet, according to the report. Those statistics indicate that economic insecurity extends beyond the unemployed or little-educated, McMahon said.

"

The low-wage recovery is largely to blame, McMahon said. Half of all jobs created in the past three years were in low-wage industries such as food services, according to a recent report from economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Tyi Jones is all too familiar with this phenomenon. The 24-year-old Brooklyn resident has worked at a slew of retailers, including Victoria's Secret, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. Jones said that at every outlet, she made slightly above the minimum wage, which wasn't enough to cover the nearly $1,000 she needed to pay rent, transportation and food costs. Like Keating, she sometimes ends up turning to Mom and Dad for help."

"We get into these quick jobs, just to get the quick money and then the money goes quickly," Jones said. She's now working at a Lego store in Manhattan, making $11 per hour -- way more than in her previous jobs. Though her situation is better than before, Jones, who had to drop out of college in part because she couldn't pay the bills, says money is still tight.

"I'm learning how to balance it," said Jones, who uses public assistance to cover some of her food costs. "I just have rent really to focus on, Metrocards and eating. I always know how to calculate how many hours I need to work in two weeks to save up enough."

As recent fast food worker protests across the country and battles in Congress show, raising wages may be an uphill battle. But one factor contributing to rising economic insecurity could be eliminated relatively quickly: Health care costs. Though President Barack Obama’s health care reform act has had little impact yet, better access to affordable health insurance could help lift many Americans out of a situation where they’re struggling to make ends meet, according to McMahon.

Still, McMahon said he doesn’t expect the economic insecurity rate, which has gone up steadily for the past several years, to tick down anytime soon. That rate is perhaps a better measure of the impact of the Great Recession than the poverty rate, which has declined and held steady since the height of the downturn in 2008.

“That casts a shadow of doubt over our common conceptions of the middle class,” McMahon said. “Middle class is generally thought of as the majority of Americans who live somewhere between poverty and being wealthy, but this suggests a paradigm that involves those who are secure and those who are not secure. That’s a different mental mo

Economic Problems

As the years go by, economic indicators show a worsening trend according to race, gender and so on
As the years go by, economic indicators show a worsening trend according to race, gender and so on | Source
Security and Insecurity According to how one is educated
Security and Insecurity According to how one is educated | Source

Economic Insecurity and America’s Families

AMERICA’S ECONOMIC INSECURITY RATE RISES TO 45%

Millions of Families Lack the Incomes Required to Pay for Basic Needs and Save, Face the Additional Challenges of Federal Budget Cuts, Growth of Low-Wage Work

“Record income inequality and a growing economic gap is making it harder and harder for women and families to get by in this economy, let alone ever get ahead,” Senator Gillibrand said. “It is time to change America’s workplace policies, and empower women with tools and opportunities to earn their way ahead in the economy, achieve economic security, and get families back on stable ground. That’s the key to a growing economy and a thriving middle class in America.”

WASHINGTON, DC (09-17-13) – While the federal government debates budget priorities and workers across the country protest low wages, a new report reveals that the nation’s “economic insecurity rate” is 45%—three times the 2012 poverty rate of 15% announced today by the US Census Bureau. The new report, published by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), defines economic insecurity as the inability to afford basic needs such as decent housing, basic transportation and food, and finds millions of families are insecure even when household breadwinners are working full time.

According to the report, Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families, while the poverty rate increased sharply in 2008 and has since remained largely unchanged, the overall insecurity rate has steadily increased, by seven percentage points, between 2007 and 2011. Insecurity rates for all major demographic groups have increased markedly, with the largest rate increases suffered by unmarried couples, white children and single fathers.

“A measure of economic insecurity provides a broad and more accurate assessment of the state of the economy and potential policy impacts,” says WOW’s President and CEO, Shawn McMahon. “It also reminds us that nearly half of American households may be only one health problem or lay-off away from poverty.”

This month, federal lawmakers are expected to debate next fiscal year’s budget and consider reversing cuts mandated by sequestration. With almost 20 million Americans and their families struggling to find jobs or full-time work, and many new jobs concentrated in low-wage industries, the study’s findings identify the millions of American households

particularly vulnerable to cuts in programs such as job training, career and technical education, housing assistance, unemployment insurance and child care and early education programs.

WOW’s analysis compares household incomes collected through the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to WOW’s Basic Economic Security TablesTM (BEST) Index for the United States, the incomes typical working families need to cover basic expenses—housing, utilities, child care, health care, transportation, basic household items and basic savings. The measure shows that the typical American single worker needs nearly $30,000 a year—twice the income earned by someone working full time at the federal minimum wage—to be secure. Typical single parents require twice that income to support two children, while dual-income households with two children require $72,000.

According to the WOW report, in 2011, 41% of all women, 62% of African American women, 65% of Hispanic women, and 81% of families headed by single mothers lacked economic security incomes. Fifty-five percent of all children and approximately three-quarters of African American and Hispanic children were living in families which lacked economic security incomes. Workers in dual-income families had the lowest rates of economic insecurity, but 10% lacked security incomes.

In a separate analysis comparing US Department of Labor projections to BEST family budgets, WOW estimates that only 12% of jobs to be created by 2020 will provide economic security wages to a typical single parent who does not have a four-year degree and is raising two children. Less than 40% of the new jobs will pay economic security wages for two workers raising two young children.

The research also points to the importance of creating jobs in industries that offer family-sustaining wages by investing in job creation programs that rehire or retain teachers and first responders and employ construction workers through investments in infrastructure.

Homelessness and Poverty-Living Really Below the Poverty Line

Poverty and Homelessness on the rise in the U.S.
Poverty and Homelessness on the rise in the U.S. | Source
The Homeless and their belongings-A much more regular sight in most big cities of the US
The Homeless and their belongings-A much more regular sight in most big cities of the US | Source

More Minimum Wage Jobs, More Working Poor

This is the most likely answer to the question of why the poverty rate has increased so dramatically when the unemployment rate has remained relatively steady, albeit high. More people are working at minimum-wage jobs that keep them out of unemployment statistics but do not pay enough to lift them out of poverty. Texas, for example, has created a large number of jobs in the past 10 years, but many of them are low-paying, which reduces unemployment numbers but not necessarily the poverty rate.

It is also important to note, however, that being above the poverty line does not always mean a family has enough money to live on, and being below the poverty line does not always mean a family is suffering. Living costs vary dramatically based on location, but the poverty line is the same in New York City as in Tulsa, Okla., and that makes it difficult to quantify how many people are experiencing true hardship.

In some cases, families who live below the poverty line are struggling to pay for air conditioning and the cable TV bill as well as to put food on the table, according to a July report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Their living standards are far different from the images of dire deprivation that come to mind when people think about poverty.

It is wrong to say that poverty is not serious, or that the number of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet has not increased: it is, and it has. Some families that are impoverished by federal standards are able to meet their basic needs, but many are not, and even families that are not impoverished by federal standards are unable to meet their needs in some cases. It is true, however, that the raw numbers from the Census Bureau do not tell the whole story.

According to Aine Nic Liam:

"One in five American children lives below the poverty line today, while one in 50 is homeless. As unemployment rises and foreclosures increase, families are forced out of their homes into overcrowded shelters, motels, ''tent cities'' and even into the storm drains of great cities such as Las Vegas.

In America, as everywhere else it is the working class and their children who are paying for the crimes of bankers, politicians and the super-rich who again and again show their willingness to throw the most vulnerable on the scrapheap of life before they even have a chance to live.

Twenty million Americans live on less then $11,000 a year for a family of four. The Department of Agriculture estimates that 6.4 million households have very low food security and are forced to eat less because they simply do not have enough money.

No child should ever be sent to bed hungry but in the richest country in the world this is simply obscene. The problem is not lack of wealth but rather how it is distributed. When the richest 1% of Americans own 40% of the wealth is it any wonder that the poorest are unable to meet their basic needs? The idea that wealth will eventually ''trickle down'' from the rich to the poor has been proven to be a sham.

Barack Obama has shown himself incapable of ending child poverty but would a Republican president be any different? While none of the Republican candidates have particularly enlightened views on the subject, Newt Gingrich came in for a barrage of criticism recently when he proposed loosening child labour laws. While he conceded that children working in coalmines would not be a good idea, he proposed that poor children could become assistant janitors for instance, mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms in their own schools.

Wall Street it seems, has two parties while poor children and their families have none. Child poverty will only be ended when the working class mobilise to oppose this rotten system that allows the elite to monopolise political and economic power for themselves.

The Have Mores and the Have Nothings

The Very Rich and the Very Poor
The Very Rich and the Very Poor | Source

Life on $2 a Day: US Extreme Poverty on the Rise

Wealth inequality has never been as great as it is today.

The article below was written by Dady Chery and Bilbert Mercier:

"A fast-growing group of people in the United States, households with children, are living on $2.00 or less per person per day. This shocking condition in a wealthy country such as the US is formally labeled “extreme poverty” by a World Bank metric that gauges poverty “based on the standards of the world’s poorest countries.” Since poor Americans live in a rich country, they have traditionally been excluded from this official estimate of dire poverty in the world.

In a Study for the National Poverty Center, H. Luke Shaefer of the University of Michigan and Kathryn Edin of Harvard University applied the World Bank metric to the US for the first time to show that in mid-2011 and based on cash income, about 1.65 million households, with 3.5 million children, lived in extreme poverty. Since the official poverty level is considered to be $17.00 per person per day, this extent of extreme poverty implies that millions of Americans are subsisting on less than 12 percent of the poverty-line income. Contrary to popular perceptions, the authors further found, based on a measure of cash income, that about one half of the extremely poor heads of households were white and almost one half were married. Children have suffered most: between 1996 and 2011, their numbers in extreme poverty increased by 156 percent.

How did the social safety nets in the US shrink to allow such a catastrophe? The authors single out two main factors: the Clinton administration’s welfare reform of 1996, combined with the Great Recession of 2008. The 1996 welfare reform ended the only cash entitlement program for poor families with children and replaced it with a program that provides only time-limited cash assistance, with a requirement that “able bodied” recipients promptly rejoin the work force. Specifically, the need-based program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was replaced by a restrictive federal program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Consequently, cash assistance fell from 12 million recipient families per month in 1996 to 4.5 million families by December 2011. Meanwhile the 2008 recession led the government to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) from around 25 million recipients per month in 1996 to 47 million in October 2012. In effect, the working poor were assisted, while those who had become chronically unemployed and desperate were left to fend for themselves. It is astonishing that nearly 50 million Americans — mostly children — currently depend on food stamps to survive.

The poor and the rich experienced differently the collapse of the labor, housing, and stock markets that started in 2007. For example, the stock markets and housing markets are currently undergoing a boom; but this deceptively bubble-like recovery mostly benefits the super-rich as corporations sit on trillions of dollars and hire as few people as possible.

Wealth inequality has long been part of life in the US, but it has never been as great as it is today. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, wealth inequality increased, with the sharpest rise occurring during the birth of capitalism in the mid-19th century and the massive industrial revolution in the early 20th century. The concentration of wealth, or share of it owned by the wealthiest one percent, rose sharply over this period to peak at about 40 percent of the total wealth right before the crash of 1929 and onset of the Great Depression. Thereafter, wealth inequality gradually decreased until the late 1970s, but it began to increase again in the 1980s. For example, between 1983 and 1989, the share of wealth held by the wealthiest one percent grew from 33 to about 38 percent. The most pronounced increase in US wealth inequality occurred between 2001 and 2007 when the wealthiest one percent managed to take a phenomenal 43 percent of the country’s total wealth. In 2013, only seven percent of the wealth is left to the bottom 80 percent. The middle class have become poor, and the poor are now destitute."

Poverty Rocks in America of Today

This is the new normal in America today
This is the new normal in America today | Source

Racism-Sick America: Race and the Destruction of America

Just in viewing the articles cited above on poverty, homelessness, unemployment, outsourcing and so forth, one begins to see and are witnessing the dismantling and the creating of a poverty-stricken, homeless, jobless and very poor America. I am not the one who is saying this. The summation one can make from the issues, pictures and graphs above, and it is really clear that that there is trouble in the land of the Free and Brave-The U.S. of America.


As the last sentence of the last article states:

"The Middle class(in America) have become poor, and the poor (in America) are now destitute."

Meanwhile, the inglorious Tea Baggers find thrills and edification in exacerbating the condition of the American middle class and the poor to that of abject poverty and misery. It is really appalling to see a civilization as great as America watch the theatre of the absurd as presented by the Tea Baggers and their minions. Racism, that scourge that is quickly eating-away at the American creed and credo is the wax and woof of the these jingoistic enclaves, who carry-on as they do because they know they have followers and those who applaud them for being racist and ridiculous.

Even those Americans who are not racist or have none of these traits, they become bundled-up as Obama sympathizers, those who love "Black/African people", although, instead of using the "N" word, they call him a Hitler, socialist, not born in the US, others say that he is product and son of a Kenyan, was born in Kenya, his birth-certificate being false, and the whole bit, in the process trying to appease their hapless lot.

As Cool Luke said, what we have here is a failure to communicate. What we have here, I say, is rabid racism and a failure of the those who still harbor these racist feelings to be rational. The fact that America has become much more worse than when Bush Junior left it(which was a bankrupt America), and that Obama, despite the blocks handed to him by the Republican racists, and had made it a tad-bit better, we have an America that is breaking down, poor, in terms of the majority poor, for it is only the so-called 1% percenters (billionaires) who are have more than their fair share, and those catching all the hell are the Middle class the chronically poor.

About a month or so ago, they GOP and its Tea Bagger cohorts shut down the American government right at the time when Obama was rolling out registration for his ACA(Affordable Care Act-so-called Obamacare). When they shut down the government, the GOP were giving each other high-fives, and called themselves Geniuses(a la Michelle Bachman); and some of them even tell the TV cameras that when they were standing next to Obama, how much they loathed him and could not stand looking at him; others, on the airport terminal wag their fingers at Obama in full view of the world media; during his state of the nation address, others called out that he(Obama) was a "liar"! The poverty of passion and humanity seems to be a scarce commodity in the United States today.

The poverty, homelessness, joblessness, unemployment, outsourcing of jobs from America, is not Obama's doing. It is and is still being caused by the "Hate" the GOP and its Tea Bagger sidekicks are doing in order to stop, hinder, block and disrupt anything Obama is trying to do for the homeless, unemployed, poverty-stricken and the whole bit-even when he uses theirGOP's) original ideas. To me, as a writer, it appears that even those Whites who are not in the 'right' with the Tea Baggers, and are so called progressives or on the Left, they too do not like Obama.

Most of them have not brought themselves to really appeciate what he is doing, and they too(the Blue Do Democrats-Or Reagan Democrats) who are elected in the so-called Red States, disrupt and betray Obama on many occasions. so that, in the long long run, when I say that American Racism is well and alive, I really mean it, and it is now on the Internet for all the world to see.

Many people may not agree with this assessment I am making, but in the long run, race is going to destroy America, as the Spanish development was stopped once they kicked the Moors out of Spain. The spanish killed the goose that laid their golden eggs. The American people are destroying a President who wants to build America and put it back to its glorious times and past. Because his is of African ancestry(although they conveniently forget his White ancestry) they prefer not to let a Black? African man rebuild, recreate, and rescucitate America into it's Former greatness. So, what we see, because of their(Tea Baggers) racist actions, America is spiraling down(in terms of the majority of its Middle class and the poor), into a dark and bottomless hole of which there might be no return or exit.

Poverty, Welfare, Joblessness and Food-lines

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with  joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of  their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive  American dream.
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

4 in 5 in USA Face Near-Poverty, No Work

Here's an update and closer look at poverty today in the " U.S.A, written by Hope Yen.:

"Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

"Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

"The findings come as President Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.

"As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused — on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race.

"Hardship is particularly growing among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63% of whites called the economy "poor."

"I think it's going to get worse," said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend, but it doesn't generate much income. They live mostly off government disability checks.

"If you do try to go apply for a job, they're not hiring people, and they're not paying that much to even go to work," she said. Children, she said, have "nothing better to do than to get on drugs."

"While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government's poverty data, engulfing more than 76% of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

"The gauge defines "economic insecurity" as a year or more of periodic joblessness, reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150% of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79%.

"Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones.

"It's time that America comes to understand that many of the nation's biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position," said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty. He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama's election, while struggling whites do not.

"There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front," Wilson said.

"Nationwide, the count of America's poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15% of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41% of the nation's destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

"Sometimes termed "the invisible poor" by demographers, lower-income whites generally are dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60% of the poor are white. Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America's heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains.

"Buchanan County, in southwest Virginia, is among the nation's most destitute based on median income, with poverty hovering at 24%. The county is mostly white, as are 99% of its poor.

"More than 90% of Buchanan County's inhabitants are working-class whites who lack a college degree. Higher education long has been seen there as nonessential to land a job because well-paying mining and related jobs were once in plentiful supply. These days many residents get by on odd jobs and government checks.

"Salyers' daughter, Renee Adams, 28, who grew up in the region, has two children. A jobless single mother, she relies on her live-in boyfriend's disability checks to get by. Salyers says it was tough raising her own children as it is for her daughter now, and doesn't even try to speculate what awaits her grandchildren, ages 4 and 5.

"Smoking a cigarette in front of the produce stand, Adams later expresses a wish that employers will look past her conviction a few years ago for distributing prescription painkillers, so she can get a job and have money to "buy the kids everything they need."

"It's pretty hard," she said. "Once the bills are paid, we might have $10 to our name."

"Census figures provide an official measure of poverty, but they're only a temporary snapshot that doesn't capture the makeup of those who cycle in and out of poverty at different points in their lives. They may be suburbanites, for example, or the working poor or the laid off.

"In 2011, that snapshot showed 12.6% of adults in their prime working-age years of 25-60 lived in poverty. But measured in terms of a person's lifetime risk, a much higher number — 4 in 10 adults — falls into poverty for at least a year of their lives.

"The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality. For instance, people ages 35-45 had a 17% risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23% during the 1989-2009 period. For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8% to 17.7%.

"Higher recent rates of unemployment mean the lifetime risk of experiencing economic insecurity now runs even higher: 79%, or 4 in 5 adults, by the time they turn 60.

"By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76% enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

"By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85% of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

"Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them', it's an issue of 'us'," says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. "Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need."

'The numbers come from Rank's analysis being published by the Oxford University Press. They are supplemented with interviews and figures provided to the AP by Tom Hirschl, a professor at Cornell University; John Iceland, a sociology professor at Penn State University; the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute; the U.S. Census Bureau; and the Population Reference Bureau.

Among the findings:

—For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

—Since 2000, the poverty rate among working-class whites has grown faster than among working-class nonwhites, rising 3 percentage points to 11% as the recession took a bigger toll among lower-wage workers. Still, poverty among working-class nonwhites remains higher, at 23%.

—The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30% or more — has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teenage pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17% of the child population in such neighborhoods, compared with 13% in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining.

'The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped from 43% to 37%, while the share of Latino children went from 38% to 39%.

—Race disparities in health and education have narrowed generally since the 1960s. While residential segregation remains high, a typical black person now lives in a nonmajority black neighborhood for the first time. Previous studies have shown that wealth is a greater predictor of standardized test scores than race; the test-score gap between rich and low-income students is now nearly double the gap between blacks and whites.

"Going back to the 1980s, never have whites been so pessimistic about their futures, according to the General Social Survey, a biannual survey conducted at the University of Chicago. Just 45% say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

"The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class: 49% say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67% of nonwhites who consider themselves working class, even though the economic plight of minorities tends to be worse.

"Although they are a shrinking group, working-class whites — defined as those lacking a college degree — remain the biggest demographic bloc of the working-age population. In 2012, Election Day exit polls conducted for the AP and the television networks showed working-class whites made up 36% of the electorate, even with a notable drop in white voter turnout.

"Last November, Obama won the votes of just 36% of those non-college whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since Republican Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale.

"Some Democratic analysts have urged renewed efforts to bring working-class whites into the political fold, calling them a potential "decisive swing voter group" if minority and youth turnout level off in future elections. "In 2016, GOP messaging will be far more focused on expressing concern for 'the middle class' and 'average Americans,'" Andrew Levison and Ruy Teixeira wrote recently in The New Republic.

"They don't trust big government, but it doesn't mean they want no government," says Republican pollster Ed Goeas, who agrees that working-class whites will remain an important electoral group. His research found that many of them would support anti-poverty programs if focused broadly on job training and infrastructure investment. This past week, Obama pledged anew to help manufacturers bring jobs back to America and to create jobs in the energy sectors of wind, solar and natural gas.

"They feel that politicians are giving attention to other people and not them," Goeas said.

Rampant Poverty, Homeless and Joblessness In America Today

The statistics on poverty in America are getting more alarming than ever. Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives. According to The Associated Press, the trend has bee
The statistics on poverty in America are getting more alarming than ever. Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives. According to The Associated Press, the trend has bee | Source

African Americans and Poverty, Joblessness, Illiteracy and Underdevelopment

Walter Russell Mead wrote the follwing article:

"The election of the first African-American president was widely hailed as a giant step forward for American racial politics.

The future, however, may remember this administration as a giant step back for Black America during a period of deepening alienation, anger, and despair in America’s inner cities.

Not since the 1960s, when scores of American cities were shaken by one race riot after another, have African Americans faced such deadly conditions: high expectations and hopes running up against a reality of vanishing jobs, shrinking government budgets, and a fractured and fragmented leadership. Barring an unlikely change in economic fortunes, we could soon face a new period of explosive anger and even violence; alternatively, the urban poor could fall prey to a new kind of passive despair and anomie as hope dies on one inner city street after another.

Either way, the mainstream press’s slowly fading intoxication with the Obama administration has led it to miss the dimensions of the new urban crisis now stalking the United States.

The liberal Reagan, they swooned back in the good old days. No—the new FDR! No, wait! The new Lincoln!

But as the rosy glow surrounding the administration and all its works slowly dies away, many Americans will be taken aback at the urban crisis that quietly and unostentatiously took shape while the fatuously exhilarated press choirs sang about the hope and the change that was coming our way.

The 21st century urban crisis has five main features: the devastating impact of what for most blacks is a still-deepening recession; the unfolding effects of the fiscal crisis meshed with the decline of the blue social model; competition for jobs, resources and power between African Americans and mostly spanish-speaking immigrants; the increased fragmentation and disintegration of black political leadership; and the contrast between the high hopes of 2008 and the grim realities that have come clear since.

“Devastating” is an overused word when it comes to unemployment and the inner city, but the Department of Labor’s latest report (BlackEmployment in recovery) tells an eye-popping story of failure and decline.

There is some good news in the report: one quarter of employed African Americans have a college degree, reflecting steady progress over recent decades, and college-educated blacks earn more and have lower rates of unemployment than do their less well-credentialed counterparts. While women earn less than men (and more than 50 percent of the African Americans who have jobs are women), black women and men both earn substantially more than Hispanics.

That is about it for good news (though readers with a Hispanic background may not consider the news about blacks out-earning Hispanics to be particularly "good").

Now for the bad. Blacks are more likely to be unemployed than whites (16 percent black unemployment rate vs. 8.7 percent for whites), they stay unemployed for longer when they lose their jobs, and they are more likely to be unemployed for the long term.

The states where unemployment rates for African Americans are relatively low are states where not many African Americans live: Alaska (5.4 percent Black unemployment), Wyoming (6.2 percent), Idaho (8.0 percent), Hawaii (9.6 percent), and (at 10.3 percent) New Hampshire. Except for Hawaii, all are generally conservative, low-tax states. The states with the highest unemployment rates for African Americans are staunchly blue: Wisconsin (25 percent), Michigan (23.9 percent), Minnesota (22 percent), Maine (21.4 percent), and Washington (21.4 percent).

The administration-produced Department of Labor report does its best to accentuate the positive, but it is clear that when it comes to employment, the Obama administration has been a total bust for blacks.

Buried deep in the report, for example, we find the mumbled admission that black unemployment continued to rise in both 2009 and 2010 in finance, transportation, and construction. Far from basking in even a feeble recovery, African-Americans have endured two years of rising unemployment since the Obama inauguration.

The second horseman of the urban Armageddon is the collapse of state and local government spending. Blacks are over-represented in public sector employment: According to the Department of Labor, almost 20 percent of employed blacks work in government (compared to less than 15 percent for whites and 11 percent for Hispanics). The public sector is the leading employer of black men and the second largest employer of black women. With layoffs and cutbacks slashing state payrolls from Maine to California and growing numbers of city and county governments facing financial meltdowns of their own, the outlook for these workers is not good.

Government payrolls have actually been shrinking in recent months, as the 2009 stimulus comes to an end and states around the country cut their budgets. Some workers will lose their jobs, and others will pay more for health and retirement benefits; the worst-hit will be young workers and recent college grads whose paths into middle class public sector employment will be blocked. All levels of government will be hiring at a slower pace for the next few years; that is going to have a disproportionately negative effect on the job prospects of young African Americans.

As government resources dry up, competition between different groups for what remains will intensify. Tension between African Americans and Hispanics is already high in some cities. There is nothing pathological about this tension or peculiar to the two groups: American cities have been battlegrounds of ethnic politics for 150 years. But fights over shrinking pies are nastier than fights over growing ones. Whether Republicans or Democrats control Washington and most state capitals in the coming years, discretionary spending at all levels of government is almost certain to shrink, leaving immigrants and urban blacks in a zero-sum scramble for what’s left.

Meanwhile, as many observers have pointed out, African American political leadership today is divided and poorly equipped. This is partly for reasons I discussed in my recent post on the decline of race; while many poor blacks still live in a race-dominated world, talented and educated African Americans have options today that their parents and grandparents lacked. African American baseball players were once forced to play for the Negro Leagues; when Major League Baseball opened the doors to black players, the Negro Leagues lost their best talent—and their fan base. 1947 was the year when Jackie Robinson broke the color bar in baseball; fifteen years later both Negro Leagues were gone.

Something similar is happening to race-oriented civic groups and political movements; black politicians who can break out of the “race market” get to be governors, senators, and president; those who identify as “race politicians” get to be aldermen or, at most, members of the House of Representatives.

As University of Chicago Professor Michael C. Dawson (author of "Black Visions" and the forthcoming )"Not In Our Lifetimes") points out, this generally means that these politicians must focus less on issues like racial equality and urban poverty and address issues of more, ahem, “general” interest.

This is the approach President Obama took as both a candidate and as president. Candidate Obama talked more about the war in Iraq than about Hurricane Katrina, and as President he has avoided any sense of special advocacy for blacks.

The same phenomenon holds true across the professions. The wealthiest and best educated fifth of the African American population enjoy six-figure incomes and a range of employment opportunities more like those of high income whites than like those of the inner city poor. Ideologically, many African American leaders and elites steer shy of the world view of men like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or the socialist and identity politics of the 1960s and 1970s.

But it is not just a question of ideas. Now that more blacks have more opportunities to succeed in the general economy, less of the top black talent goes to work for specifically black organizations.

Beyond that, a chasm has opened up within black urban communities. As graphically demonstrated by the massive cheating scandal in Atlanta, teachers and school administrators have one set of priorities; parents have another. The producers of government services such as they are have a vested interest in getting as much money as possible from the government while limiting their accountability to the public. Parents want better schools; teachers (some of them, anyway) want better contracts.

Given the organization, economic power, and numbers of public employees, urban African-American politics cannot stray far from the demands of the public unions for high pay, low medical costs, lifetime job tenure, early retirement, and generous pensions. But the needs of the majority who don’t work for the government require black leaders to call for vast expansions of government services.

It would be hard enough to meet the educational needs of inner city children with flexible staffing and low overheads. Trying to meet those needs with the inefficient management techniques, tenured deadwood, incompetent administrators, and high fixed cost structure of, say, the Atlanta school district would require astronomical sums.

Having to build a coalition between those who demand inefficient, feather-bedded government and those who need government services more than anybody else drives urban Black politics into a dead end. Frequently, black politicians end up fighting to get more money for indefensibly poorly run organizations; add the collusion and cozy backscratching traditional in urban political machines to the mix, and black politicians lose the moral authority and dignity that would make advocacy for the poor more effective.

Politicians who advocate for this conventional form of the black agenda end up pigeonholed and sidelined in national politics, and low income, urban blacks feel that the system will never make a serious effort to improve their lives. “New Look” black politicians like President Obama ally with liberal, good government whites and push specific black demands off to one side; old style, ward heeling politicians voice the emotions and aspirations of their constituents but are never able to deliver the schools, investment, and health care their districts need.

Black America, never ideologically monolithic, is divided in complicated and evolving ways, and many of the traditional civil rights organizations and black community groups are less well-equipped to cope with this more difficult community landscape. These problems are also reflected in the state of the black media; the same trends making life difficult for legacy print media are also present in the black media where some enterprises were already economically vulnerable. At the same time, the pull of the general media attracts many talented journalists and thinkers away from historically black journals.

Beneath all this lies a deepening frustration on the street and a growing alienation between low income, less-educated blacks and the well-integrated, well-heeled and cosmopolitan elite.

The election of the first African American president was not just a triumph for Black America; it also reflected a deepening crisis of black politics and black leadership. Looking at the black community as a whole, we see that the forces reshaping American life generally are also affecting African Americans. The top quintile is doing pretty well and becoming an increasingly cosmopolitan elite at home not only in white America but in the world as a whole.

The bottom end of the income distribution faces much bleaker prospects with declining income and disappearing opportunities for social mobility. The middle class is stressed, divided between those on the public payroll and those in the private sector, and many families face the loss of middle class status and income as the recession grinds on.

Increasingly, following a pattern we see among whites in the United States today, the educational, intellectual, and political elite among blacks is out of touch with the realities, values, and emotions of the black lower and middle class. The institutions that have traditionally helped to bridge that divide (churches, historically Black colleges) are under stress and in some cases have a lower caliber of leadership than in the past.

If we add to this the mounting frustration among many young and poor blacks (and not only them) about the failure of “hope and change” to make their lives better in any way, we have an explosive mix. Conditions are bad, leadership struggles to rise to the times, hope has soured into disillusion.

It now looks increasingly likely that the recovery will continue to move slowly everywhere and especially slowly for blacks. Out of frustration and economic need, black politics will shift away from establishment liberalism toward more left wing or black nationalist options, even as whites continue moving toward the right. If that is where we are headed, then President Obama’s election will look to many angry young blacks less like a milestone for Black America and more like proof that ordinary politics cannot change their lives. The establishment leaders who urge them to keep calm and be patient will not have their confidence or trust.

Worst case, some very hot times could loom not too far ahead."

African Americans In America and Contemporary Poverty, Drug Addiction, Joblessness and Homelessness in the 21s5t Centruy

The 21st century urban crisis has five main features: the devastating impact of what for most blacks is a still-deepening recession; the unfolding effects of the fiscal crisis meshed with the decline of the blue social model; competition for jobs...
The 21st century urban crisis has five main features: the devastating impact of what for most blacks is a still-deepening recession; the unfolding effects of the fiscal crisis meshed with the decline of the blue social model; competition for jobs... | Source
Source
Black(African American) Poverty) in 2012
Black(African American) Poverty) in 2012 | Source

Number Of Americans Living In Poverty Hits 52-Year High, 27.4 Percent Of Blacks Under The Poverty Line

The number of Americans living in poverty in 20110 hit a 52-year high, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau today. As the poverty rate continues to climb, the median household income has tumbled, as has the number of people with health insurance coverage. The news is a sad indicator particularly for the state of black financial health, revealing that blacks have the highest rate of poverty and the lowest median income.

In the report, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010," a staggering picture emerges of a still-ailing American economy. The findings detailed in the report are from the first full calendar year since the official end of the 2007-2009 recession.

Between 2009 and 2010, the number of people living in poverty rose by 2.6 million, from 43.6 to 46.2 million people, according to the report. The numbers reflect a dire trend; it is the fourth consecutive annual increase, reaching the highest level in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has tracked the statistics.

The number of blacks living under the poverty line -- which is $11,139 for an individual in 2010 -- rose to 10.7 million, up 1.6 percent. In all, 27.4 percent of blacks were living in poverty.

Median household income in 2010 was $49,445, a dip of 2.3 percent from the previous year. The median income for black households in 2010 was $32,068, down 3.2 percent from $33,122. The median income for white households also dropped, to a lesser degree, from $52,717 to $51,846, a decline of 1.7 percent. (Median income for Asian and Hispanic households was not statistically different.)

The overall poverty rate last year was 15.1 percent, an uptick from 14.3 percent. It is the third consecutive year that the poverty rate has risen. The 2010 rate was the highest since 1993, the report noted, but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959. Between 2007 and 2010 the poverty rate increased by 2.6 percentage points.

"It was a surprisingly large increase in the overall poverty rate," Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the New York Times. "We see record numbers and percentages of Americans in deep poverty."

There were 9.2 million families living in poverty in 2010, up 11.1 percent from the previous year. And the poverty rates increased for married couples and female-headed households alike. To get a clearer picture of just how troubling that number is, consider that the poverty line in 2010, for a family of four, was $22,314.

The number of people without health insurance coverage also rose, from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. Though the number of individuals increased, the percentage without coverage (16.3 percent) was not statistically different from the rate in 2009, according to the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau findings piggyback on an earlier study published by the Pew Research Center that showed the gap between the average Black and average White households in 2009 grew to proportions unseen since the 1980s.

Median white household wealth was about $113,000. For black families it was about $5,700. And median Latino household wealth was $6,300.

Black unemployment hit 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, according to the Labor Department.

"This month's numbers continue to bear out that longstanding pattern that minorities have a much more challenging time getting jobs," Bill Rodgers, chief economist with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University told CNNmoney earlier this month.

"Behind today's grim statistics are real people who are finding it harder than ever to keep a roof over their heads, feed their families, get the health care they need and give their children a chance at a better life," Joan Entmacher, vice president for Family Economic Security at the National Women's Law Center, said to the Washington Post.

Economists expect the health care reform law passed by Congress last year to reverse the trend of people losing insurance coverage in 2014, when the law's major provisions kick in.

A temporary program created by the law to cover the uninsured has so far produced lackluster results, reaching only 21,000 people -- far below its expected enrollment. The administration has estimated that as many as 25 million uninsured Americans have pre-existing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Alice O'Connor, a historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of "Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy and the Poor in Twentieth Century U.S. History," told The Huffington Post that explanations for rising poverty often focus on the work ethic and personal choices of the poor. But many still fail to understand how social policies -- such as those that make collective bargaining difficult, or tax income from work and investments differently -- contribute to increased poverty.

The Great Recession, she said, for many has been something of an eye-opener.

"What we are looking at today is really the result of decades of eroded protections for workers and just a declining number of good jobs," she said, noting that public health insurance programs for poor children and adults and cash welfare assistance and other social safety net measures have been slashed.

Obama Grounding With His Brothers

If you hear a little Noise…It’s Barack and the Boys!
If you hear a little Noise…It’s Barack and the Boys!

I would like to post an article written by Plythell Benjamin in his Commentaries Blog:

A Beautiful Moment In Time...

As I watched President Obama aka “Chilly B Knowledge” rapping with the Seattle Seahawks at the White house, I reflected on the magnificence of the moment. Given the history of race relations in the USA, none of them should have been there. It is a moment I never thought I would see in my lifetime: an Afro-American President congratulating an Afro-American quarterback who had just won the superbow, and it is without question irrefutable evidence that the status of Afro-Americans has undergone a paradigm shift since I fled Florida in 1960.

What it means, among myriad of other things, is that most white children and youth have a black hero that they idolize, and many of their parents do too. Considering the fact that Rush Limbaugh’s audience averages 67 years of age – the geriatric crew that grew up in the golden age of white supremacy and are so bewildered by the radical changes in race relations they no longer recognize the America they grew up in, thus they roam about like disoriented zombies chanting “we want our country back!”

I am now convinced that the amazing success on black athletes paved the way for other changes in race relations, beginning with Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson. However I did not always recognize the critical role of sport in promoting social change. During the height of my revolutionary days, when everything that wasn’t about the revolution was cast aside, I stopped watching sports. And I became so self-righteous about it that I began to bug my friends who remained sports fans.

One day when I had become a particular pain in the ass, my main boon coon Booker T. Quattlebaum, who taught writing on the college level, pointed out that the greatest writers in history were sports fans and produced a volume from his shelf that had selections on sports which began with the ancient Greeks. He also pointed out that the revolutionary socialist countries that I so admired was all sports fanatics; in fact they used sports as a measure of their social development.

I eventually saw his point and began to look at sports through new eyes. The mere fact that in the ancient world the largest buildings were temples to the Gods, but in modern societies they are often sports stadiums, is eloquent testimony to the importance of sports in human affairs. For one thing it is an alternative to war in supplying an outlet for male aggression – especially sports like football!

However in the context of American society, a society based on “white male supremacy” black success in sports gave birth to a crude counter-argument. Once it was obvious that white men were not physically superior to black men then the argument became…”well they can play sports but we are intellectually superior.”

The response of many well-meaning folks in the black community is to disparage sports as unimportant and only intellectual achievement matters. This is a false dichotomy, and it reflects a retrograde way of thinking – despite the self-righteous claims of those who hold this point of view. When I was a boy growing up in racist apartheid Florida, our elders used the brilliant exploits of Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, etc to point out that just as whites folks claimed we were not good enough to compete with white men in professional sports was a god damned lie….their claim to intellectual superiority was an even bigger lie.

African American Heroes and Great Men

Lieutenant Jackie Robinson: Calvary Officer
Lieutenant Jackie Robinson: Calvary Officer

Paul Robeson: The Greek Ideal of Mind Body Perfection

He would have made a better President than his white Contemporaries
He would have made a better President than his white Contemporaries

Paul Robeson

The example of Jackie Robinson – a handsome, eloquent, ebony black UCLA graduate, US Army Calvary Officer, four sport college athlete, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, eloquent gentleman, corporate Vice President upon his retirement from Major League baseball - as irrefutable proof that achievement was a matter of preparation and opportunity.

They went on to point out that given the education and opportunity to compete we could beat white men at anything just like Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson were kicking their ass in the sports arena. The lesson for us was not that we could only be great athletes, but that the athletes were setting a standard of excellence that we should emulate in all of our endeavors.

The great Paul Robeson was held up as the gold standard. A super athlete – who made All-American in football and starred in basketball, baseball, and track- Robeson also graduated first in his class at Rutgers, while working as a tutor to his white class mates in Greek and Latin, and singing in the Glee Club. Robeson was the greatest example of human perfection in his time. He went on to earn a law degree from Columbia University, became an internationally acclaimed Shakespearean actor and concertized as a singer world-wide. He was so widely revered in Russia that they named a mountain after him.

The Burgeoning American Militia During Obama's Rule As American President

The Rise Of The Right Wing Militia's In The Age And Rule Of Obama..

A Brief View of The Changing Race Relation, And the Rise of the Right Wing Militia's, especially under the rule of Obama.. Is worth taking note of as we are duly informed by this interview done by Amy Goodman:

White Power USA: The Rise Of Right-wing Militias in America" Reported by Democracy Now! on July 11, 2010

ANJALI KAMAT: It’s been a year since Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first African American president of this country. His election was lauded as a turning point in race relations. But there’s also been a racist backlash to his victory at the polls. Right-wing militias are on the rise in several states across the country, and high rates of unemployment have further stoked anger against racial minorities and recent immigrants. There’s been a surge in hate crimes, political murders and assassination threats since Obama’s election. At least nine high-profile racially motivated murders have taken place this past year.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, independent filmmakers Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen went inside the white nationalist movement to investigate the backlash. This is an excerpt of their short documentary White Power USA that aired in full on Al Jazeera English. The full piece is available on the Al Jazeera website and on the Big Noise Films website. It includes some disturbing language.
RICK ROWLEY: In this shed in the middle of the Arizona desert, the White Knights of America are hosting a festival of white supremacist skinhead culture. Here and across the country, white power groups say they are energized and growing. For them, Obama’s election and the economic meltdown are wake-up calls for white America and catalysts for the coming race war. They say white pride is their only defense in an insecure and changing world.
CHARLES, STORMTROOP 16: But America is in crisis. I’m petrified whether I’m working the next day or not. And it’s — this is all we got. This is the last thing we got to stand on, man.
RICK ROWLEY: Charles is the lead singer for Stormtroop 16, one of the most popular bands on the Aryan skinhead circuit. He says they give voice to a silent majority that is afraid to say what it really feels about race.
CHARLES, STORMTROOP 16: This country and this entire world is full of closet racists who lack the courage to even say they’re even proud to be white, because they are sheep, and they are being led to the slaughter, man.
RICK ROWLEY: Like many in the white nationalist movement, he talks in apocalyptic terms about the future of the white race.
CHARLES, STORMTROOP 16: And we have such a huge following of people that are so incensed about this because I believe that they think that this is the ends coming, man. We were born to hate.
RICK ROWLEY: Skinheads are one of the most aggressively violent nodes in a constellation of groups that make up the white nationalist movement. There are an estimated 30,000 hardcore white nationalists and 250,000 active sympathizers in America today, according to watchdog groups. But white supremacist influence may be far greater than these numbers suggest.
LEONARD ZESKIND: They are preparing for battles of the future. And unless we prepare for those battles in the future, we’re going to get blindsided.
RICK ROWLEY: Leonard Zeskind has tracked white nationalism for decades and recently published a comprehensive history of the movement based on his life’s work. He warns that though the white supremacist groups may appear to be marginal, they exploit and enflame racial divisions that run through all of American culture, and they are moving from the margins to the mainstream.
LEONARD ZESKIND: Now it’s a broader political problem than it was, say, thirty years ago. And so, it’s a cause for greater concern. There’s a sense of white dispossession among a certain strata of the white population. They feel like this used to be their country, they ran it, and now they don’t. And they want their country back.
RICK ROWLEY: Zeskind maps a network of right-wing organizations that is adapting in order to expand its foothold in mainstream American politics. In recent years, hundreds of new groups and websites have sprung up across the country looking for issues that can make their racial politics relevant to more white Americans.
LEONARD ZESKIND: Particularly with the anti-immigrant movement, the white nationalists have managed to find a vehicle into the creation of public policy.
RICK ROWLEY: White nationalists see the anti-immigrant movement as a bridge into mainstream politics. And ground zero for that movement is here in the deserts and mountains of Arizona. Six years ago, right-wing militias began organizing here along the Mexican border. They quickly grew from a few vigilantes hunting for immigrants into a national phenomenon.
With the recession, illegal immigration from Mexico has dropped off 60 percent in the last year to its the lowest level in a decade, but it remains a hot-button issue. In November, one of the largest white supremacist groups in America, the National Socialist Movement, planned an anti-immigration march to the Arizona State Capitol. The NSM claims to have eighty chapters across America. We met Jeff Schoep, the movement’s new leader, at his hotel.
JEFF SCHOEP: Arizona is the front lines. We have a massive illegal immigration problem here in the state, so we’re here to take it to the front lines.
RICK ROWLEY: As we talked, Schoep’s men began to organize the caravan that would bring them to their march. Each car was marked with a number 88. In their simple code, eight stands for the eighth letter in the alphabet. Eighty-eight, or HH, means “Heil Hitler.”
JEFF SCHOEP: America was founded by white men, settled by white men, and it was founded as a white nation. So we’ve got our nation to lose. They call us the fringe. They say it’s a fringe movement, but I think what we’re saying is very mainstream. We’re standing up for the American people, and there’s nothing fringe about that. The membership has really spiked, especially in the past few years. It’s more mainstream now than ever before in our history.
CLIFFORD HERRINGTON: And this is our blood banner. This flag is flown everywhere in the United States.
RICK ROWLEY: Clifford Herrington was the chairman of the National Socialist Movement before they tried to go mainstream, when they still wore Nazi uniforms.
CLIFFORD HERRINGTON: You want to get a shot of my ribbons?
RICK ROWLEY: Tell me about them.
CLIFFORD HERRINGTON: Vietnam, ’68, ’69. US Army, ’66 to ’76. Vietnam, Germany, Japan and Korea. NSM since 1974.
RICK ROWLEY: As we approached the State Capitol, he started to lead a chant.
CLIFFORD HERRINGTON: No niggers! No Jews! The Mexicans must go, too!
RICK ROWLEY: Younger members of the leadership quickly silenced him and chose a theme better suited to a mainstream audience.
NSM MARCHERS: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
JEFF SCHOEP: We are looking at a country now that can very well face another American revolution! Our forefathers fought and resisted tyranny in this country, just as we stand here today in defiance of illegals, in defiance of a corrupt system that would just as soon put a bullet in the back of the white man’s head! We stand here in defiance of tyranny like George Washington did, like Ben Franklin did, our forefathers! This is America, our country!
NSM MARCHERS: Sig heil! Sig heil! Sig heil!
RICK ROWLEY: In spite of their swastikas and Nazi salutes, it is clear that the National Socialist language has changed. Take away the “Sig heils,” and they sound like many other conservative anti-immigration activists in America.
JT READY: We are doing it right. We’re putting Americans first. We’re taking back our nation, one day at a time, block by block, street by street, city by city. This is our nation, which we built. We are armed. We are free. And if you want our nation, you must take it from us. We are prepared. Thank you. Sig heil!
NSM MARCHERS: Sig heil! Sig heil! Sig heil!
RICK ROWLEY: More than anyone else at the rally, JT Ready embodies the link between white supremacist ideology and mainstream conservative politics. JT was a Republican precinct committeeman in Phoenix and a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives. His writing appeared on mainstream conservative websites, and he regularly spoke at rallies with powerful Arizona political figures. JT is a former Marine and was also an early collaborator with the vigilante groups that patrol the Mexican border. They call themselves Minutemen, after the citizens’ militias of the American Revolution. Here Ready is in 2004 with Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
CHRIS SIMCOX: Chris Simcox, founder of Civil Homeland Defense.
JT READY: JT Ready, candidate for Arizona House.
RICK ROWLEY: JT was a rising star in the Republican Party. But after Obama’s election, he came out publicly as a member of the National Socialist Movement, which he now proclaims proudly on his license plate. JT agreed to meet with us, but he wanted to do the interview out in the middle of the desert on Highway 88.
JT READY: What I’m fighting for, primarily, at this point is the survival of the white race.
RICK ROWLEY: JT says that white Americans have been dispossessed and sees America teetering on the edge of a crisis in which their very survival is at stake.
JT READY: Any event which sparks this off — it could be during an election time, it could be the assassination of a prominent leader on either side — things could erupt. Now, within the white movement, we call it “RaHoWa,” racial holy war. And I do believe in a racial holy war, and I believe that we are already fighting that, except that our side hasn’t even begun to fight back yet. So we’re trying to waken our people for survival.

AMY GOODMAN: JT Ready, from the National Socialist Movement and a former Republican candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives. An excerpt of White Power USA, which we will continue after break.
This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.
[break]
AMY GOODMAN: We return to another excerpt from White Power USA by filmmakers Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen that aired in full on Al Jazeera English.
BART McINTYRE: If you look at the potential of violence and the history of violence, the potential is tremendous.
RICK ROWLEY: Special Agent Bart McIntyre retired from the federal weapons control agency, the ATF, this January. As an undercover officer, he infiltrated a ring of white supremacist groups responsible for multiple murders.
BART McINTYRE: I mean, that was a belt buckle I would wear while we were undercover that we bought from one of the Klan rally sites.
RICK ROWLEY: He sees a perfect storm of economic and political conditions driving a rise in white supremacist violence.
BART McINTYRE: The economics, Obama being the black president, the Democratic-controlled Congress is all fueling the fires. The numbers may be small in the US, but you know there is an event sitting out there that could spark the movement, and all of a sudden you could see those numbers increase exponentially.
RICK ROWLEY: Special Agent McIntyre is not alone in his concern. Last spring, a US Department of Homeland Security report warned that right-wing extremists are now, quote, "the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States." The report’s most disturbing findings concern the movement’s attempt to recruit members inside the US military, something that McIntyre witnessed firsthand while working undercover.
BART McINTYRE: I mean, we were dealing with soldiers there out of Columbus, Georgia, and they were stealing military guns and explosives off the military base there. They were supplying it to white supremacist organizations.
RICK ROWLEY: Special Agent McIntyre fears that the country could return to the violence of the ’90s, when decorated Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma Federal Building, killing 168 people.
BART McINTYRE: Someone’s always looking to be the next martyr. A Timothy McVeigh could happen any day of any week.
RICK ROWLEY: In December of 2008, Kody Brittingham, a lance corporal in the US Marine Corps, was arrested for involvement in a string of armed robberies. In his barracks room, investigators found white supremacist material, a declaration that Barack Obama was a domestic enemy of America, and plans for Obama’s assassination. At one point, death threats against President Obama were running at record levels, averaging thirty a day. These numbers have dropped off since their peak around the time of the election and inauguration. But law enforcement around the US remains on its guard for violence from many corners of the white supremacist world.
911 DISPATCHER: 911, where’s your emergency?
GINA MARIE GONZALEZ: Somebody just came in and shot my daughter and my husband.
911 DISPATCHER: They shot them?
GINA MARIE GONZALEZ: Please, ma’am, please! She’s bleeding out of her mouth! Please!
911 DISPATCHER: How old is your daughter?
GINA MARIE GONZALEZ: She’s ten.
911 DISPATCHER: Ten? Where were they shot?
GINA MARIE GONZALEZ: In the head. In the head.
911 DISPATCHER: Are they still there, the people who were there that shot them?
GINA MARIE GONZALEZ: They’re coming back in! They’re coming back in!
RICK ROWLEY: That was the night of May 30th, 2009 at this house in Arivaca, Arizona, where Raul Flores and his ten-year-old daughter Brisenia were murdered. Their alleged killers were Shawna Forde, director of an anti-immigrant Minuteman militia, and her operations director Jason Bush, who has been linked to the white supremacist Aryan Nations. Forde talked of starting a revolution against the US government. And they allegedly planned to rob Latinos they believed were drug dealers to finance their underground activities.
SALVADOR REZA: The whole mindset of hate under the guise of fighting illegal immigration, something that we have not seen probably since the ’60s or ‘50s.
RICK ROWLEY: Salvador Reza is a lifelong community organizer here in Arizona. He’s been battling for years against the anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups that target Latinos in the state.
SALVADOR REZA: Their little minds get to the point that they’re fighting this battle against the invasion, and in essence what they’re doing is creating the conditions for what happened here in this house.
Like I bet you that little girl played on that trampoline.
RICK ROWLEY: There have been nine high-profile murders by white supremacists since Obama’s election, and the pain in the communities they affect is visceral. But these crimes represent only a small part of the white nationalist movement’s impact on America as a whole.
LEONARD ZESKIND: We’ve got to look at a bigger picture than just the narrow problem of racist violence. They’re a constant pressure on the racial fault line in American life. They want to set dynamite on that fault line.
RICK ROWLEY: Exploiting America’s racial fault line helps white nationalists impact mainstream politics. It also helps conservative talk-show hosts get viewers.
GLENN BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. This guy is, I believe, a racist.
I feel like President Obama is just saying, you know what?
RICK ROWLEY: For years, the anti-immigration movement was the vehicle of choice for white nationalists looking for an impact on public policy.
GLENN BECK: Why don’t you just set us on fire? Do you not hear the cries of people who are saying “Stop!”?
TEA PARTY EXPRESS ANNOUNCER: All aboard the Tea Party Express.
RICK ROWLEY: But since Barack Obama’s election, conservative media figures have helped launch a new populist movement that white nationalists see as their best chance in decades to cross over into mainstream American politics.
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: USA! USA! USA! USA!
RICK ROWLEY: Calling themselves “Tea Party Patriots,” installing themselves as new American revolutionaries, conservative activists have descended by the thousands on town halls, state capitols and in Washington, DC. The tea party movement claims it has nothing to do with racism, but at rallies across the country, race is never far below the surface.
TEA PARTY PATRIOT 1: Coming to a clinic near you.
TEA PARTY PATRIOT 2: And I think the guy’s a racist. I mean, you know, he’s talking about how he’s going to bring this country together. If he gets us any more together, we’re going to kill each other.
TEA PARTY PATRIOT 3: What’s the difference between the Cleveland Zoo and the White House? The zoo has an African lion, and the White House has a lyin’ African.
JACQUIE SOOHEN: But do you think Obama is a real American?
TEA PARTY PATRIOT 3: No, I do not.
TEA PARTY PATRIOT 4: I do believe that he’s trying to change the country in his own image, whatever his image is.
LEONARD ZESKIND: A number of white nationalists noticed the tea party phenomenon and said, “This is something we have to get into.” On their websites and in other venues, they started to talk about what they needed to do to push the envelope.
RICK ROWLEY: The Council of Conservative Citizens is perhaps the largest and most influential white nationalist group pushing the envelope. The Council keeps its membership secret but counts elected officials among its ranks. It has dozens of chapters across the United States, many of which have organized tea parties. The organization is the descendant of the White Citizens’ Councils, formed to combat the civil rights movement and preserve segregation. Today, its website identifies the United States as a Christian and European nation and opposes integration and race mixing.
GORDON BAUM: What’s a racist? You know, I’m not sure what the term means, even. That you’re proud of what you are? Well, everybody, I guess, is a racist of some sort.
RICK ROWLEY: Gordon Baum was part of the White Citizens’ Councils in the ’60s. Today he is the Council of Conservative Citizens director.
GORDON BAUM: Our nose is being rubbed into the fact that Obama’s black, and we better all recognize the fact that he’s a black man and he’s our president. And Mr. White American, you’re going to have your nose rubbed in it. We can do what we want, and we’re going to give ourself all kind of goodies.
The last year has been probably our most dramatic in growth, because people are really upset with the direction this country has taken. And we’re getting lots of young people, a lot of veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, that want something done before it’s too late.
CHIP BERLET: Let’s look at The Councilor of the Citizens’ Council of Louisiana. “Martin Luther King, a troublemaker, a liar.”
RICK ROWLEY: Chip Berlet runs Political Research Associates, which has been tracking the Citizens’ Councils since the ‘60s. He sees a continuum between the overt racial appeals of the past and the tea party rallying cries today.
CHIP BERLET: The kind of naked white supremacy that you see in the pages of The Councilor are no longer acceptable. And so, you develop other ways, coded language, essentially.
TEA PARTY SINGER: There’s three words you need to sing with me, and those three words are “Take it back.” [singing] Tack it back. Take our country back.
CHIP BERLET: “Take our country back.” Now what could that possibly mean? Well, our country is a white Christian nation. And the more we diluted our America with those other people, the less it was going to be America. And the idea is always that we have to take back our America from them. And you never have to say “them,” because the only people being addressed when you say “Take back America” are white people.
RICK ROWLEY: At tea parties across the country, it is impossible not to notice that the audience is always almost entirely white.
GORDON BAUM: They bring — invite black speakers to it, in hopes of attracting blacks and Hispanics. And for some reason, they just turn their back on it, and they’re not interested.
RICK ROWLEY: Gordon Baum says African Americans don’t come to the tea parties because black culture is less democratic than white culture.
GORDON BAUM: It’s a chief mentality. If Obama is the boss, that’s it.
RICK ROWLEY: Gordon Baum put us in touch with Brian Pace, the regional organizer for the Council of Conservative Citizens in northern Mississippi, where tea parties have helped with recruiting.
BRIAN PACE: Our Mississippi website, it’s been put online in July, and we’ve had over 17,000 people come to it. Just like we put another website online called white-pride.org, and that’s getting flooded with responses. It’s nonstop.
RICK ROWLEY: Pace is busy setting up new chapters around the state and runs a side business selling Confederate and white pride stickers and pins, including many with slogans we had seen at tea party protests across the country. When Pace canvasses for new recruits, he starts the conversation on the economy.
BRIAN PACE: The biggest issues right now has got to be the economy, jobs and illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is not even really a third issue; it’s more or less — it’s all about the economy. So that’s pretty much driving the growth right now.
RICK ROWLEY: The town of Ripley just formed one of the newest chapters of the Council and organized its own tea party. JD Meadows is a new Council member. He was receptive to Pace’s economic message.
JD MEADOWS: My uncle lost his job up here at BenchCraft — so did my aunt — when it shut down and moved to China.
RICK ROWLEY: Meadows showed us the factories that have been closed down in the last two years. He said that the town has watched the government bail out the banks on Wall Street while its local economy crumbled.
JD MEADOWS: Nobody wants to see the large international bankers get richer. It is a struggle. Most people around here, whether they’re Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, are fed up with the government in some way or form.
RICK ROWLEY: We sat down for lunch with the Ripley chapter of the Council. We asked the new members about the Council’s core issue — racial segregation — but got a surprising response from Meadows.
JD MEADOWS: As the Bible says, a house divided cannot stand. The same applies with the nation. If a nation is divided, it cannot stand. The media plays races off against each other, when races should the united for liberty.
RICK ROWLEY: After lunch, Brian took us aside and told us that many new members join with what he calls “elementary school politics.”
BRIAN PACE: In a way, the Council is about like a college. You know, after you get in and you start reading our beliefs and you start getting our platform, and you’ll start growing more and more.
RICK ROWLEY: The economy, bank bailout and the war get people in the door, he says. Once inside, the Council tries to educate them about racial threats to America.
BRIAN PACE: The mixing of cultures, whether it be — it could be ethnic, it could be religious, you know, it could be language. We want to preserve the Caucasian Christian culture that’s made up the United States and the South, traditionally.
RICK ROWLEY: America has changed. Tens of millions of whites voted to elect the first African American president, and tolerance and diversity are publicly celebrated as national virtues. White supremacists face major challenges, but they are convinced that racial identity remains the most powerful force in American politics.
GORDON BAUM: I think it’s become more racial because of the vote. We’re not in a post-racial America. It’s becoming more racial. Race has become a bigger issue today than it had been in twenty, thirty years. I think the tea party movement is the beginning of a very good awakening. And realize, we only need to wake up ten percent of the people to win this thing.
CHIP BERLET: As this right-wing populist movement spreads more and more anger and more and more scapegoating, and more and more elected officials and media demagogues encourage them, it’s more likely that violence will occur.

AMY GOODMAN: Chip Berlet in that excerpt from White Power USA by filmmakers Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen, available in full at the Al Jazeera English website.
Well, for more on this story, we are joined now by Chip Berlet. He is a senior analyst at Political Research Associates and the co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.
Welcome to Democracy Now! Chip Berlet, what would you add right now to this piece that we — this very chilling piece that we’ve just watched? You’ve spent time in Montana, in Idaho. What would you like to add?

CHIP BERLET:

Well, I think we need to get away from the idea of the word “extremism,” because it creates the false impression that what is going on here is really just somewhere way out there among crazy people. But the whole point of this documentary is to say, look, there are these sectors. There’s the center political sector, there’s these right-wing populists, and then there’s these insurgent and revolutionary right-wing, you know, Klan, Nazi people. And there’s a dynamic there that we are a part of, all of us in America, a legacy of racism that can be exploited on the racial fault line at any moment. So, people need to understand that this dynamic is not going to result in the Klan or the Nazis taking over America and having an armed coup.

What it’s going to result in is a dynamic between the Republicans and the Democrats, for sure, in 2010. But more importantly, what’s happening now in states like Montana and Idaho and Washington is that immigrants and other communities that are being scapegoated are under attack. And as the economy continues to wobble, we are seeing more and more anger being directed not just up at the government elites, but down at people who have very little ability to defend themselves. And so, the Democrats’ idea that “let’s stir up even more trouble and laugh as the Republicans get pulled to the right” ignores the fact that, you know, the families that I talk to are being harmed by both the Republican and the Democrat and the tea bag movements.

ANJALI KAMAT:

And Chip Berlet, you have a piece coming out in The Progressive magazine next month, and in that, you argue that centrist Democrats should stop trivializing right-wing populism. What do you mean by that?

CHIP BERLET:

Well, if you just say, “Look, they’re all crazy, they’re all nuts, we don’t have to pay any attention to them, and they’re not real,” that does several things. One is that it obscures this dynamic that’s occurring that Lenny Zeskind explained so well, that there’s a struggle going on in these right-wing movements right now, and white supremacist organizers are trying to pull the tea bag movement way towards more aggression and a more ideological position.
But also, I talked to organizers who said when they try and reach out to white communities, where they have in the past had some traction around issues like immigration or issues like racism or even organizing around the political economy and the environment, that they’re getting doors slammed in their face, because, you know, people can hear the Democrats and — I’m sorry, but the Keith Olbermanns and the Rachel Maddows making fun of their neighbors and them, and they don’t want to hear from progressive organizers.

AMY GOODMAN:

Chip, last year, the study that came out, or the report that came out, of the Department of Homeland Security from Janet Napolitano that got fiercely attacked by Republicans in Congress, so much so that she had to take it back, talking about the rise of and the danger of white extremism and nationalism in this country — can you talk about what happened with that, the importance of that report, and then the pushback?

CHIP BERLET:

Sure. And first, I’ll bet you a $25 donation to Democracy Now! that you can’t go through the rest of the program without using the word “extremism.” I hope you win.
Look, the problem with the report is exactly that. The report, 50 percent of it, was completely accurate about the recruiting on the right in the military and the white supremacists stealing supplies. All of that was accurate. But the report went on to claim that the evidence that there was a need for government, you know, surveillance and monitoring and intervention was based on ideological concerns. So, you know, I may not agree with libertarians, but most of them aren’t breaking the law. I don’t agree with right-wing populists, but most of them aren’t breaking the law. So the report was actually quite valuable, until it started to conflate political ideas with potentials for violence. And we see Joe Lieberman and his committee talking about this with, you know, “homegrown radicalization” and “violent extremism.” These are terms used by the center to marginalize dissidence on both the left and the right.

ANJALI KAMAT:

And can you talk about the impact of the right-wing media, figures like Glenn Beck, and what this does?

CHIP BERLET:

Sure. I mean, what people like Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs do is they provoke an even angrier response. They whip up this anger, but they point it toward scapegoats. And their scapegoats are overwhelmingly not just liberals, but people on the left — community organizers, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, all kinds of folks that are out in middle America. And their — some of their angry neighbors are looking at them as the cause of this problem with our society and with our economy.

So, what you have is this problem here, which Sara Robinson and David Neiwert have talked about, in especially the book The Eliminationists, where once you have a right-wing populist movement and you have political figures in the Republican Party embracing it and saying they’re the real patriots and you have media demagogues whipping up more and more anger, this is a very volatile mix.

It is, in fact, without, you know, using the term incorrectly, the mix that turns a right-wing populist movement into a neo-fascist movement. And the political theory now about fascism is that it’s a right-wing populist, ultra-nationalist movement that turns into a more militant and aggressive mode. Now that’s — you know, it’s not going to happen here. You’re not going to have a mass fascist movement. But along the way, this anger being focused on scapegoats, by the Glenn Becks and the Lou Dobbs and the O’Reillys, leads some people to decide to beat up their neighbors, and it leads others to decide to go out and kill their neighbors. And that’s already happened.

AMY GOODMAN:

Of course, Lou Dobbs is no longer on television, though he could run for national office, something that’s been floated there. Then you have David Duke —

CHIP BERLET:

That’s like saying — that’s like saying a zombie is going to stay dead.

AMY GOODMAN:

That’s like what, Chip?

CHIP BERLET:

That’s like saying a zombie is going to stay dead.

AMY GOODMAN:

You have David Duke famously saying that if Obama were elected — of course, this was before Obama was elected president — it would be a, quote, "visual aid to white Americans." How have things changed in this year of the Obama presidency?

CHIP BERLET:

Well, we’ve gotten back to this — it’s basically that with such a large right-wing populist movement already being woven around these white nationalist themes, it’s pulling the Republican Party to the right and towards, frankly, a more racist stance. But it’s also providing an opportunity for the organized white supremacist movement to pull people out of the right-wing populist movement — the tea bag and town hall movement — and pull them into a more aggressive, more racist, a more xenophobic, more anti-Muslim and, in many cases, anti-gay and anti-abortion provider kind of anger. And that is happening on both sides of this right-wing populist movement. The Republicans are being pulled to the right, and the white supremacist organizers are having a heyday of organizing people out of the right-wing populist movement into this militant, aggressive and, frankly, right-wing revolutionary stance.

AMY GOODMAN:

And what do you think is the best way to answer it, Chip Berlet?

CHIP BERLET:

Well, I think that if you’re looking at it in terms of a society, people need to stand up and say this is way out of control, that whenever you have this kind of anger and demonization and scapegoating, it’s very toxic to democracy. And I wrote a report called “Toxic to Democracy” to explain how that works.
The other thing is that Democrats really have to stop this snide and smug and arrogant, you know, “haha, let’s laugh at the rednecks and rubes” stance, because, you know, first of all, the political right has out-organized centrist Democrats repeatedly since 1980. So I have no idea why they’re laughing on the Democratic Party side. And the other thing these inside-the-Beltway spin doctors who say, you know, “It’s OK to call them the radical religious right, the political extremists, they’re crazy” — you know, this whole theory that came out of the ’50s and ’60s that these people are psychologically maladjusted has been repudiated in social science. So, you know, there are people being pulled into the right-wing populist and white supremacist movement that skillful, progressive organizers and labor organizers could be bringing into a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition.

AMY GOODMAN: Chip Berlet, we’re going to have to leave it there. We thank you very much for being with us, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, co-author of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.

FBI Director James B. Comey on Law Enforcement and Race

Celebrating The Indictment of Abusive Cops, Celebrated In Baltimore, USA-2015

The Struggle Of The Poor Of Baltimore, USA

BALTIMORE--25-year-old Freddie Gray was murdered by Baltimore City police stemming from an April 12th incident where he suffered a spinal cord injury that led to his death a week later on April 19th. It has been alleged that Gray made eye contact with a cop and started to run. Like many black men in this country understand, something as innocuous as making eye contact with a cop can lead to death as was the case of Freddie Gray.

Witnesses say that police violently hurled him to the ground and he was bent up “like a pretzel.” In videos of Gray’s arrest he is screaming in pain while being dragged by the cops to the van, clearly unable to walk. Police say they found a small pocket knife on his person. Despite repeated pleas for help, Gray was not given timely medical attention for his fatal spinal injury. He was put into leg restraints and driven around in the back of a police van. Eventually the police took him to the hospital where he went into a coma, and a week later died from his injuries.

His death is the latest example of the colonial police occupation in Baltimore and throughout the African community in this country. Like in the death of Mike Brown, police terror was on display for the community to witness and like Eric Garner’s death this common occurrence was caught on video.

Brutality against the African community is all too common in Baltimore. Since 2011, Baltimore has paid nearly $6 million in cases alleging misconduct by police. The plaintiffs in an overwhelming majority of these complaints were not even convicted of a crime. In addition there are countless other police violence that never reached court.

In 2013, Baltimore City police beat Tyrone West to death, claiming he resisted arrest. The police were cleared of all charges. Twanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West, has been fighting since his death to bring light to the same police violence that lead to the death of Freddie Gray. (See video of Ms. Jones speaking about the murder of her brother at the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice Peace and Reparations March and Rally, Peace through Revolution in 2014, blackisbackcoalition.org).

History of Baltimore police repression

Baltimore City police have a long history of repression. During the Black Revolution of the 1960s the Baltimore police, like many other state apparatuses, initiated counterinsurgency programs on black organizations. The most famous at that time, the Black Panther Party (BPP), had shaken the state powers so much that the Attorney General of the U.S. in 1969 explained that the BPP would be destroyed within a year. In 1969 alone, more than 20 Black Panther Party members were killed. The most notorious and ruthless assassination was that of Fred Hampton in Chicago. The police drugged Hampton, kicked his doors down in the middle of the night and riddled his and fellow panther Mark Clark bodies with bullets.

This same year, the Baltimore City police understood the significance of the BPP and used a police informant to start the Baltimore branch of the BPP. Marshall Eddie Conway was one of the victims of the counter insurgent attacks against the BPP. Eddie Conway joined the BPP and while organizing with the Party exposed the informants but was arrested soon thereafter, convicted of the murder of a cop and was sentenced to life in prison. Eddie Conway served 44 years in prison and was recently released after an appeal court ruled that a judge in his case gave improper instructions to the jury.

With leaders like Fred Hampton dead and Eddie Conway in prison, the counterinsurgency moved to ensure the African community would not rise up again. No longer were political organizations and political figures the target but the community as a whole.

The forced capitalist drug economy was one of the tactics of the counterinsurgency responsible for more than 2 million people in prison, of which nearly half are Africans. In Baltimore the heroin drug economy has haunted the city for decades. The criminalization of the community allowed for the erosion of the democratic rights that Africans gained in the 60s. With the war on drugs came stiff penalties for possession of drugs and impetus for the wholesale imprisonment of black youth.

One example of these phenomena is under former Baltimore City Mayor from 1999 - 2007 and presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley, who instituted the “zero tolerance” policy which drastically increased the number of Africans arrested in Baltimore for minor offenses. One of his shining achievements was to implement a street camera program throughout the African community with flashing blue lights to humiliate our community and give whites and the police alike the ability to justify their terror on the community.

While the police occupy our community, 42.5 percent of working-age black males are not employed in the city of Baltimore. The state spends nearly a billion dollars a year on prisons where nearly one in three prisoners in Maryland is from the city of Baltimore.

Funeral of Freddie Gray and its aftermath

The funeral of Freddie Gray brought out an army of neocolonial forces to ensure that violence would not spark as it did in the proceeding days. Pastor Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore convened over the funeral of Freddie Gray. While he hollered, “No Justice, No Peace” he was quick to point out that violence does not solve the problem. The Obama Administration sent a delegation. Jesse Jackson attended, along with Congressman Elijah Cummings and a host of others who all championed the “peaceful protest”. Bryant asked that no protest be held out of respect for Freddie Gray and his family but the black working class understood that Freddie Gray’s death was not because he was Freddie Gray but an African.

While the neocolonial leaders were working the funeral, the State began its counter attack on protesters. The Baltimore Police Department issued a notice that they had a “credible threat” that the local gangs in Baltimore, the Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips have united and will be targeting cops. This was a clear attempt to deflect it’s culpability in the murder of Gray. Although such a truce would show that they have identified the real enemy of our community - the police - but the state quickly criminalized the truce.

Later in the day, police claimed that they had received information that African youth through social media were planning a “purge” and Mondawmin Mall was the meeting place (taken from the Movie “The Purge”, where for 24 hours in the fictitious country, citizens were allowed to kill without consequence). What media reports will not tell you is that Mondawmin Mall is near several public schools and is a central transportation hub as well. Youth gather there every day but on Monday these youth were met by dozens of Baltimore cops in riot gear who according to witnesses taunted and jeered them.

Following the funeral, the rebellion was in full swing. The neocolonial agents showed their contempt for the black working class in Baltimore. The white ruling class media did a masterful job to shift blame away from the police and onto the people. The preacher Bryant denounced the resistance and organized male church members to do the work of the state and “calm” the rebellion. Later he even went as far as to applaud that the National Guard was called by the Mayor. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called these young Africans “thugs and criminals,” echoing Obama’s exact words.

Most astounding was the scene April 28th as the National Guard occupied the City of Baltimore and the count down to the 10pm curfew loomed we saw literally a wall of neocolonial stooges standing with arms locked with the military at its back protecting the police against the black working class of Baltimore. Religious leaders, sell-out community groups, to the Nation of Islam - all petty bourgeoisie forces siding with the state against the people who have suffered centuries of colonial oppression.

Need for Black Community Control of Police!

The death of Mike Brown and the heroic stance of the people in Ferguson, Missouri have shown that the state is not omnipotent, and the people of Baltimore have followed in this heroism. The rebellions and the symbol of resistance are important, but these murders will continue unless there is a “coherent message” and demands being made against the system.

What differentiates the Baltimore rebellion from Ferguson is that Baltimore is under neocolonial rule and has been for decades. Unlike the small municipality of Ferguson, Baltimore is one of the largest cities in the U.S.

In Ferguson, the political line was that residents needed to vote, get black politicians in office, get more black cops on the force and give them proper training. In Baltimore, there is a black mayor; a black police commissioner, who is even a member of the National Task Force that was started by Obama in the aftermath of the Ferguson protests; a significant amount of black cops on the Baltimore City Police Force; and a civilian review board. Plus, the majority of the city council are African.

None of these facts prevented the rebellion and protests in Baltimore because the police are an arm of the state that serves the same function as the military does in Iraq or Afghanistan. We saw this clearly when the rebellion started and police had military gear and used MRAP vehicles to patrol the streets.

The rebellion in Baltimore shows that the answers put forward by opportunists in our community are not viable solutions. The solution is Black Community Control of Police. Black Community Control of Police would give the people of the community the ability to hire and fire police. It’s nothing like a civilian review board which “review” police murders which Baltimore has presently. As Chairman Omali Yeshitela explains,

“The struggle for Black Community Control of the Police assumes the ability of African people ourselves to redefine the role of the police so that it no longer functions as an agency imposed on us from the outside.

"In one fell swoop Black Community Control of the Police gives our people the opportunity to require police to become one with the people, to require that its functions include solving the fundamental problems of our colonized community.

"This starts with the poverty, joblessness, poor and non-existent housing, healthcare, etc. It gives the African community the ability to change the look of the police from that of an invading army dressed in ski masks and military gear.”

By Aaron T. O'Meal

Holelessness And Joblessness In America Today

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that homelessness dropped by nearly 4 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, released in late November. The report found that 610,000
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that homelessness dropped by nearly 4 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, released in late November. The report found that 610,000

4 in 5 in USA face near-poverty, no work...

When Obama took over the reigns of the presidenty in the US, the economy was tanking. Now that Obama is about to dfinnish his final second term in office, Homelessness and joblelessness has increased at an alarming rate.

New York saw a 13 percent jump in its homeless population—to 64,000—in the past year, while Los Angeles saw its homeless population soar in January 2013 to 53,000, a 27 percent jump.

In Los Angeles, the large homeless population recently spurred the City Council to consider a ban on outdoor feeding of the homeless by charities because of litter and food safety concerns and to encourage them to go to shelters.

“That’s insane,” said Los Angeles homeless activist Jeff Page, known as “General Jeff” in downtown’s Skid Row, where 2,000 people bed down nightly in shelters and on sidewalks. “The shelters can’t handle the influx of people they have now.”

Likewise, the number of chronically homeless people (defined as those without housing for at least a year or who have experienced homelessness at least four times in three years) decreased by 7 percent over the past year, a total 25 percent drop since 2007, with moves to get them into housing that offers supportive services such as mental health, drug rehabilitation, and job training.

Hope Yen wrote the following article:

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

The findings come as President Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.

As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused — on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race.

Hardship is particularly growing among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63% of whites called the economy "poor."

"I think it's going to get worse," said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend, but it doesn't generate much income. They live mostly off government disability checks.

"If you do try to go apply for a job, they're not hiring people, and they're not paying that much to even go to work," she said. Children, she said, have "nothing better to do than to get on drugs."

While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government's poverty data, engulfing more than 76% of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

The gauge defines "economic insecurity" as a year or more of periodic joblessness, reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150% of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79%.

Marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones.

"It's time that America comes to understand that many of the nation's biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position," said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty. He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama's election, while struggling whites do not.

"There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front," Wilson said.

Nationwide, the count of America's poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15% of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41% of the nation's destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

Sometimes termed "the invisible poor" by demographers, lower-income whites generally are dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60% of the poor are white. Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America's heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains.

Buchanan County, in southwest Virginia, is among the nation's most destitute based on median income, with poverty hovering at 24%. The county is mostly white, as are 99% of its poor.

More than 90% of Buchanan County's inhabitants are working-class whites who lack a college degree. Higher education long has been seen there as nonessential to land a job because well-paying mining and related jobs were once in plentiful supply. These days many residents get by on odd jobs and government checks.

Salyers' daughter, Renee Adams, 28, who grew up in the region, has two children. A jobless single mother, she relies on her live-in boyfriend's disability checks to get by. Salyers says it was tough raising her own children as it is for her daughter now, and doesn't even try to speculate what awaits her grandchildren, ages 4 and 5.

Smoking a cigarette in front of the produce stand, Adams later expresses a wish that employers will look past her conviction a few years ago for distributing prescription painkillers, so she can get a job and have money to "buy the kids everything they need."

"It's pretty hard," she said. "Once the bills are paid, we might have $10 to our name."

Census figures provide an official measure of poverty, but they're only a temporary snapshot that doesn't capture the makeup of those who cycle in and out of poverty at different points in their lives. They may be suburbanites, for example, or the working poor or the laid off.

In 2011, that snapshot showed 12.6% of adults in their prime working-age years of 25-60 lived in poverty. But measured in terms of a person's lifetime risk, a much higher number — 4 in 10 adults — falls into poverty for at least a year of their lives.

The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality. For instance, people ages 35-45 had a 17% risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23% during the 1989-2009 period. For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8% to 17.7%.

Higher recent rates of unemployment mean the lifetime risk of experiencing economic insecurity now runs even higher: 79%, or 4 in 5 adults, by the time they turn 60.

By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76% enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85% of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

"Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them', it's an issue of 'us'," says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. "Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need."

The numbers come from Rank's analysis being published by the Oxford University Press. They are supplemented with interviews and figures provided to the AP by Tom Hirschl, a professor at Cornell University; John Iceland, a sociology professor at Penn State University; the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute; the U.S. Census Bureau; and the Population Reference Bureau.

Among the findings:

—For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

—Since 2000, the poverty rate among working-class whites has grown faster than among working-class nonwhites, rising 3 percentage points to 11% as the recession took a bigger toll among lower-wage workers. Still, poverty among working-class nonwhites remains higher, at 23%.

—The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30% or more — has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teenage pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17% of the child population in such neighborhoods, compared with 13% in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining.

The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped from 43% to 37%, while the share of Latino children went from 38% to 39%.

—Race disparities in health and education have narrowed generally since the 1960s. While residential segregation remains high, a typical black person now lives in a nonmajority black neighborhood for the first time. Previous studies have shown that wealth is a greater predictor of standardized test scores than race; the test-score gap between rich and low-income students is now nearly double the gap between blacks and whites.

Going back to the 1980s, never have whites been so pessimistic about their futures, according to the General Social Survey, a biannual survey conducted at the University of Chicago. Just 45% say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class: 49% say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67% of nonwhites who consider themselves working class, even though the economic plight of minorities tends to be worse.

Although they are a shrinking group, working-class whites — defined as those lacking a college degree — remain the biggest demographic bloc of the working-age population. In 2012, Election Day exit polls conducted for the AP and the television networks showed working-class whites made up 36% of the electorate, even with a notable drop in white voter turnout.

Last November, Obama won the votes of just 36% of those non-college whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since Republican Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale.

Some Democratic analysts have urged renewed efforts to bring working-class whites into the political fold, calling them a potential "decisive swing voter group" if minority and youth turnout level off in future elections. "In 2016, GOP messaging will be far more focused on expressing concern for 'the middle class' and 'average Americans,'" Andrew Levison and Ruy Teixeira wrote recently in The New Republic.

"They don't trust big government, but it doesn't mean they want no government," says Republican pollster Ed Goeas, who agrees that working-class whites will remain an important electoral group. His research found that many of them would support anti-poverty programs if focused broadly on job training and infrastructure investment. This past week, Obama pledged anew to help manufacturers bring jobs back to America and to create jobs in the energy sectors of wind, solar and natural gas.

"They feel that politicians are giving attention to other people and not them," Goeas said.

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tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Great overview of US imperialism and role of the big corps in it. Thanks for the analysis.

Love and peace

Tony


ixwa profile image

ixwa 5 years ago Author

tonymac04: Molo-Molo Mfondindi! Kweku! ndiyavuya ngempendulo yakho apha. Thanks a ton for reading and commenting on the Hub above. I hope I managed to cover as much ground as possible on the subject of Imperialism and all the hubbub swirling around the American realpolitik. Also, thank you for taking the time and going through this mammoth articles. I really appreciate it and thank you very much. Oh, I have been adding a lot of old vinyl on the station, please, if you find time, check it out. I have been putting one of my favorite artists, "J.J. Johnson, the trombonist in my recent playlist on the FASTTRACKS station. Thank you again tony!!

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