Tag Archives: second american revolution

My Deepening Concerns About the USA

One Step Closer to Armed Revolt: My Deepening Concerns

by Pastor Paul J. Bern

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expect_resistance

The attempted assassinations of a handful of congressional representatives, senators and their staff members this past week confirms the suspicions of many, including myself, that the fabric of our country is coming undone. Senator Scalise remains in critical condition as I write this, and I understand senator Rand Paul narrowly missed getting shot in addition to quite a few others. Perhaps Rand Paul was the real target in yet another CIA/NSA engineered false flag operation – God only knows! If it was, their mission failed, the independent alternative media will share the news (since we already know the Main Stream Media would bury that story) with the whole world, and the blow-back from the American public will be nothing short of livid vehemence! The root cause of this will be the American public’s increasing exasperation with the fight between the Trump administration, the Washington establishment and the Deep State – which president Trump is in the process of trying to dismantle. That’s the real source of all the back-and-forth between Trump, the MSM, and the D.C. robber barons.

The American people – all but the top 1% – have found themselves caught in the crossfire with little to do except for ducking and dodging. But in the process we are finding more and better ways of fighting back, and up until this week that excluded arming ourselves against the government in general, and conservatism in particular since that ideology benefits fewer and fewer people at the expense of many, many more. Generally speaking, this is true for the way the whole country is being run. More and more people are being oppressed by the same government that was elected to serve them. Speaking as a Web pastor, I’d like to point out that the Bible has some things to say about those who are being oppressed and about oppressors as well. “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and you will be killed with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.” (Exodus 22, verses 21-24) I like to quote verse 22 to all those who gripe and complain about “illegal immigrants”. The same thing goes for those who get played by the rigged economic and court systems, but this runs far deeper than even that. For example, under so-called “Trump-care” the mega-rich top 1% will get very large tax breaks, and 24 million lower income Americans will be dropped from the Obama-care rolls like so many hot potatoes in order to fund president Trump’s AHCA, his version of national health care. You can be sure there will be retribution from the Lord for any who die as a result of losing their health insurance if “Trump-care” gets passed into law. For each of ours who die, one of theirs will die. On further thought, they will most likely die as crime victims from robberies of one kind or another. Although the word ‘Karma’ isn’t in the Bible, I believe it would apply here.

And the Word of the Lord came again to Zechariah; this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts, do not think evil of each other’.” (Zechariah 7, verses 8-10) What do we have instead? A federal income tax that is unconstitutional, wars being fought without a formal declaration of war as the Constitution requires, and the world’s largest prison population!! Does this seem just, merciful or compassionate to any of you? It sure doesn’t to me, and you can literally bet your next paycheck that God is outraged and infuriated at America because of all of the above! Not to mention the institutionalized racism, global mass murders being committed by our military and intelligence communities, and all the rampant gambling and criminal profiteering on Wall St. and in Washington! Keep it up, all you people who are hell-bent on serving only yourselves, and see what it will get you!! Don’t you believe it will happen? ‘What’, you ask? ‘I have nearly unlimited resources, I can defend myself against anything! What can all those poor slobs do to me? I can crush them all like bugs!’

What these obscenely rich people fail to understand is that “we the people” have a singular resource that people with lots of money don’t understand and who refuse to see, as it is written: “He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9, verses 8-10) Not only will the Lord Jesus Christ uphold us during our times of trouble and turmoil, he will give us the means to throw off our oppressors and then deliver them into our hands (reference: the Book of Joshua, the American Revolution of the 1700’s, and the Israeli 6-day wars of 1967 and 1973). One more thing the Bible has to say about this topic (among many) comes from the Book of James, and I quote: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your clothes like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men who were not opposing you.” (James 5, verses 1-5)

As you can clearly see from the above passage, the obscene amounts of wealth that has been hoarded “in the last days” – which is our current time frame – has been ‘acquired’ at the expense of everyone else. This closely resembles the “99% vs. 1%” paradigm that we find ourselves caught up in today. Moreover, there is much talk today about an impending economic collapse of one kind or another. As a result, there are many financial advisers today who are counseling people to cash in all their Wall St. investments and put it all in gold, silver, nonperishable food, weapons and ammunition. But the apostle James prophesied against that roughly 1,965 years or so ago when he prophesied against gold and silver in verse 3. The apostle James then prophesied yet again against the obsession of some people with wealth and financial gain when he wrote, “The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” What modern parallel with this do we have here in modern times? Just think about it for a minute – the wages the rich withheld from the poor and then pocketed themselves – doesn’t this closely resemble the current battle for a livable minimum wage? Today in America, with only a few exceptions, the prevailing minimum wage is so low that wage earners must sign up for government benefits programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, child care benefits and Obama-care in order to have enough money for even the most basic expenses like food, shelter, clothing, transportation and medical care. For this to be happening in what is allegedly the “richest country in the world” is simply inexcusable! Here in Atlanta, GA where I reside, the minimum wage is still stuck at $7.25 an hour. In large parts of rural Georgia it is only $5.25 per hour. That works out to a net weekly paycheck of about $175.00 for a single individual. Try living on that, if you think you can! Does that not constitute theft, even if it’s “legal”? It’s tantamount to economic slavery and servitude, and the Bible condemns it!

You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.” There is so much talk today about the obesity epidemic that is plaguing the entire developed world, along with much of the emerging one such as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). There is no question in my mind that this single verse (and there are others throughout the Bible) predicted today’s obesity epidemic with perfect accuracy. There is one last thing predicted for the End Times that we are currently living in which is stated in verse 5. “You have condemned and murdered innocent men who were not opposing you.” There is an ongoing effort to prove the innocence of men and women with life sentences or very lengthy ones, and particularly those who have the death penalty. In all these cases the convictions of these individuals were done with bias against the defendants, often because they are people of color. People have been freed from death row by way of DNA testing as a result of these efforts. But for every one who is found to be innocent after the trial was over and their sentences vacated by the courts, there are untold countless others on whom the death penalty was imposed who were convicted on what amounts to false testimony.

But is that the end of the story? By no means!! What about the lynchings, and the slavery that came before all that, right here in America? What about the two million civilian casualties the US military and the Pentagon are responsible for from the Vietnam war to Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, up until today? Although I’m no fan of president Donald Trump, at least he has the guts to come into Washington with a wrecking ball aimed directly at its corrupt core while attempting to replace what doesn’t work with what does. I don’t know whether he’s going to succeed or not, but at least he’s trying to buck the status quo. Whether Trump succeeds or not remains to be seen, but when things get heated to the point of US citizens attempting to execute an entire Republican baseball team, we are getting dangerously close to all-out revolt. Yet by the same token, it’s looking more and more like a revolution may not be such a bad idea after all. The overwhelming majority of Americans have little left to lose. The only remaining question is – will it be armed or peaceful? From my observation point, I’d say let’s pray that it will be peaceful but continue to prepare as if it will not.

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Been ‘feeling the Bern’ lately?

Have you been feeling the Bern (Bernie Sanders, that is)? Tired of feeling “burned” by the government? Get the book that started the Democratic Socialist movement back in 2011! The Middle and Working Class Manifestoby Rev. Paul J. Bern. Before the Sanders presidential campaign, before there was Occupy Wall St., before “the 99%” and Anonymous, before Ferguson, Mo. and Freddy Gray, before Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, before the ‘Arab Spring’, Syria and Palestine, there was this book, the book that helped start it all! Available in paperback on Amazon for $18.95, or get a leftover 1st edition for $9.95 with free shipping at www.pcmatl.org/books-and-donations Or, buy the E-book (350 pages) on Smashwords.com, Goodreads.com, Kindle or Nook for $3.00, or on Pay Hip at https://payhip.com/b/Tpw5 To watch the video before you buy, visit http://youtu.be/VZguRDJmCqc

DCIM100MEDIA

 

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Is The Revolution Really Beginning? If So, It’s About Time!

The Coming Revolution May Not Be Televised

by Pastor Paul J. Bern

I cant breathe

Thanks to the injustices against Trayvon Williams in Florida and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year, and more recently Eric Garner in New York City, it is abundantly clear to “we the people” that war has been declared on us by our government, with the police looking like poorly paid wannabe mercenaries. I write today about these repeated clashes that have grown into a kind of cultural resistance not seen since the civil rights protests and anti-war demonstrations of the 1950’s, ’60’s and the early ’70’s. This culture of resistance, which has been building up gradually ever since that time up until now is beginning to have a noticeable effect as it continues to grow slowly but steadily. There are cracks in the pillars of power, and they’re starting to get a little bigger. It’s up to us to shine the light on the lies, the spins and the ‘black ops’ and shadow government that has been operating smoothly behind the scenes ever since they killed President John Kennedy to seize power. It is up to us – ‘we the people’ – to uncover the systemic open corruption that has been stealing America’s future. I look back over the events of the past two years and feel cautiously optimistic, because I have seen this movement that is continuously building momentum.

Here in Atlanta’s inner city where I live and work as a freelance writer, Web pastor and itinerant missionary, I have perceived what I would describe as a strong sense of suspense in the air. Some people say that they weren’t feeling enough pain to warrant being angry about the Ferguson and New York decisions, and that we hadn’t reached the tipping point as of yet. They’re only interested in taking the safe way out. I have had still others tell me that, as a Christian minister, it’s my duty to follow the laws without question and pay my taxes unfailingly. They have told me that it is not right for a Web pastor to take sides in favor of the protesters, much less write and blog about it. But to them I quote the Book of James, where it is written about those in charge who abuse their authority: “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay your workman who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.” (James chapter 5, verses 1-6 NIV) There are others, however, who are ready to strike, such as what just happened with the fast food and convenience store workers this past week all over the country. The folks who barricade themselves in their homes and apartments are gradually becoming outnumbered by those who insist on staying out in the streets and making their extreme displeasure known to those who still presume to be in charge. They have staked out a place in the heart of the monster and held it. Excitement and wonder are seemingly everywhere.

Could ‘we the people’ really take on Wall Street and the lobbyists on Capitol Hill? Obviously Wall Street and the offices on K Street in Washington, DC thought so because they ordered excessive and constant police protection. They must have seen something brewing because Wall Street firms had donated unprecedented millions to the NYPD over the previous year. It was police aggression towards peaceful protesters that grabbed public attention and sympathy. For example, a few weeks after the start of Occupy Wall Street in September of 2011, an amazing 43 percent of Americans supported Occupy, a figure that remains largely undiminished to this day.

Three years later, the physical encampments are gone, but the Occupy Movement remains, along with its cousins, the ‘99%’ and Anonymous Movements, worldwide. Occupying public space was a tactic, not an end in itself. It was a way to make the issues visible, a place for people to gather, a model for a new way of doing things based on respect, mutual aid and democracy and a demand to reclaim what has been ruthlessly taken. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, there was an expectation that the government would respond appropriately to stabilize the economy and that we simply had to weather the storm. What we saw instead were massive bailouts of the industry that caused the crash and greatly inadequate steps to secure jobs, housing and health care. This turned some already catastrophic financial crises caused by runaway private speculation into an immense source of private gain for the same very financiers responsible for the catastrophe to begin with. Even worse, it made those catastrophes so much more catastrophic than they really needed to be in the first place. And all this happened prior to the current epidemic of violence in America’s streets and the apparently casual shootings by police officers of unarmed men (in one of the worst cases, a 12-year-old boy was shot to death by the police in Cleveland, Ohio because he held a toy gun).

As a result of all this mess, we’re not heading toward greater income equality. We’re not opposing social and economic injustice like ‘the 1%’ do, but we’re not building up the middle class or supporting unionization either. We’re not eradicating poverty and hunger, they are getting worse. We’re not expanding educational opportunity, fewer and fewer people can afford it. We’re not rebuilding infrastructure, and it’s falling apart. We most certainly aren’t doing anywhere nearly enough to improve race relations. Nothing we’re doing looks anything like the society we built from the New Deal through the 1970s. We’re not doing any of the things that would lead to a more stable and just economy. In fact, we’re doing just the opposite, which means the billionaire bailout society will become even more firmly entrenched. This means that if left unchecked, the trends towards greater inequality and suffering will not only continue, it will accelerate as well. But the billionaire bailout society may have went too far in their exuberance for still more wealth. According to a Stanford study, “animosity toward the financial sector reached its highest level in 40 years in 2012” which undoubtedly fueled the Occupy and 99% Movements, and anger remains high (or higher, take your pick) to this very day. A majority of Americans believe that not nearly enough was done to prosecute the bankers.

When drowning in so many crises it is sometimes hard to see above the surface of the water, but the anti-globalization movement and its offspring, the Occupy and “the 99%” Movements, are having an effect. Since 2000, the World Trade Organization has been unable to advance its agenda and 14 free trade agreements have been stopped by public pressure. Like low-wage workers in the fast food and retail industries, workers must join together to let Congress know that the WTO is not the right path for the U.S.” Another broad coalition of groups has come together to stop the TPP. If they are successful, this will be a huge victory against transnational corporate power. And JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon admitted that the bank broke the law. Another important win that is inspiring many in the US took place in Colombia, where farmers went on a prolonged strike to win back the right to use their own seeds. The anti-Monsanto and anti-GMO movement is strong here. Thousands of people marched there this week for a law to protect themselves from pesticides. And, despite an outpouring of money, a vote to label GMO products in Washington State is still holding strong. In still another anti-1% effort by ‘we the people’, stopping the imminent attack on Syria earlier this year was a win for people everywhere and a loss for the military industrial complex. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin in particular were set to make hundreds of millions from it. We must be vigilant, though, because the current diplomatic path could be used to justify an attack in the future in either Syria or Iran.

It is important to recognize these victories and to build from them. It is also important to remember that we never know how close we are to achieving significant change. The Occupy movement spawned the “Idle No More”, “Workers’ Rights” and ‘Climate Change’ movements. Our eyes are open and we can’t ignore what we now see; we know that it is the plutocratic system, not individual inadequacy, that is causing poverty in America. We know that the $1 trillion given by the Federal Reserve to private banks could have created 20 million desperately-needed jobs. We know that the 400 richest people in the US have more wealth than the GDP of entire countries – like Canada and Mexico, for instance! And we know the names of those who control the wealth and exploit people and the planet for it. We no longer expect “leaders” to create the change we need. We are all leaders and change depends on our actions and ours alone. Since the system is too dysfunctional to attempt to repair it, the most logical and practical thing to do is replace it. Humankind already has a tool available off the shelf as a basis for launching such a project, and it’s called ‘the Internet’. The government of the future will be small, efficient and nearly paperless.

The culture of resistance necessary to create the kind of world we want to live in is already here. Actions are taking place daily in the US and around the world. You won’t hear about most of them in the mass media. This week alone, more than one hundred women, most of them undocumented, were arrested in Washington, DC to protest the ways that immigration policies harm their families. Dairy workers in New York protested their abusive working conditions. Protesters in Vermont, ages 65 to 94, chained themselves to the entrance of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant to demand its immediate closure and Marylanders protested outside an ‘arms bazaar.’ The Cascadia Forest Defenders scaled the capitol building in Oregon to drop a huge banner to protest clear-cutting.

Resistance is not all protesting, it also includes building alternative systems to meet our basic needs. Many who are active in OWS, ‘the 99%’ and Anonymous have been hard at work at this since the physical occupation was shut down. This week the Occupy Money Cooperative announced its launch with a fund raising campaign. They will provide low-cost financial services to the millions of Americans who are unbanked and under-banked and who are preyed upon by banks, check cashing services and payday lenders. It will be an opportunity for all to opt-out of big finance. Just as OWS created the infrastructure that was used to organize Occupy Sandy, and continued for months afterward to provide services to those affected by Superstorm Sandy, occupiers in Colorado responded to the needs of people in the Boulder area who were hit by massive flooding.

Hard work is being done every day to take on entrenched corporate power and create a new world based on principles such as mutual aid, community, equity, solidarity and democracy. Although we face an uncertain future, we embrace the chaos that defines our times. There is no alternative but to challenge the status quo of ever-increasing debt, shrinking job opportunities and disappearing civil rights. We can’t say what the outcome will be or whether we will live to see the world we hope to create. Can there even be an endpoint? Perhaps the most important piece of social transformation is not a goal but rather is the process of living in a way that is consistent with our values. We live in the culture of resistance which requires constant nurturing to bend the arc of time towards justice.

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Is America on the verge of an apocalypse?

Apocalypse Soon?

By Rev. Paul J. Bern

As I pause to take a look around me, I observe that my country is under attack both from without and within. It remains to be seen whether the outcome of these multiple attacks will amount to anything more than a temporary convenience, but I see ominous warning signs all around me. Externally, we have and will continue to come under attack here at home due to America’s aggressive deployments of numerous US troops overseas while simultaneously being burdened with a crushing war debt that can never be repaid. Add to this the fact that the deadly drone strikes all over the Middle East and Africa are killing scores of innocent civilians, and America has enraged far more people than many of us realize by doing so. If America’s Arab allies in the petroleum-producing countries were to suddenly turn on us, the US would find itself in a challenging situation, to say the least. Yet this glaring fact has not ceased to blind the eyes of those in power who see only the oil when they look at the Middle East. It will only be when the US converts from gas and diesel to much clear-burning natural gas for their cars and trucks, something America has in abundance, that America will be able to finally break her addiction to Mideast oil.

Internally, our country is under attack from rampant corruption that overshadows most other countries in size and scope, and it is a systemic corruption that goes all the way to the top. But there is something else going on here, something underneath the surface, that is far greater than either of these other two threats I have mentioned. I am writing about what now-deceased TBN host Grant Jeffery once called a “shadow government”. This shadow government is a cabal of unelected, shadowy private interests that control the multinational corporations, the World Bank, the IMF and the US military-industrial complex, among other things. This “shadow government” is made up of members of the global top 1% income bracket, and their activities are directed against the rest of us in the form of an enforced inequality, as you know all too well by now. I have compiled the following list that proves “we the people” are under just such an attack.

1) The inequality of wealth in the United States and abroad has soared to an unprecedented level. The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the 2008 financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the middle class and poor much harder than the top 1 percent, the gap between the top 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent of the U.S. population is greater than ever.

2) The three big banks that took taxpayer money and benefited the most from the government bailout have just set a new global economic record by issuing $30 billion in annual bonuses this year, “up 60 percent from last year.”

3) The profits of the economic elite are now underwritten by taxpayers with $23.7 trillion worth of national wealth. As the looting is occurring at the top, the U.S. middle class is just beginning to collapse.

4) Workers between the ages of 55 to 60, who have worked for 20 to 29 years, have lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. During the same time period, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans went up by $30 billion, bringing their total combined wealth to $1.57 trillion.

5) Home foreclosure filings hit a record high in the third quarter of 2010 and continues into 2014. Over 3.4 million homes entered foreclosure by the end of 2010, and this year will top 4 million.

6) 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed. That’s nearly 1 in 6 Americans.

7) There have been 123 U.S. bank failures thus far this year (as of 2012 – PB).

8) 10 U.S. states are on the verge of bankruptcy, with several ready to declare a financial state of emergency, such as California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

9) “U.S. public debt has topped $14 trillion for the first time in history”… This prediction, first written in the spring of 2011 when the final draft of my first book was completed, has since topped $16 trillion.

10) The U.S. poverty rate is the highest in the industrialized world. Predictably, homelessness is rising at an increased rate as well. The U.S. government does not tally the numbers but interested organizations say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.

11) 50 percent of U.S. children will need to use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhood. In the African-American community, it is a shocking 90%. (As to why the black community isn’t protesting in the streets over this, I have no idea. Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come for all of us to stand up and fight for our kids!) This is a national disgrace, a social injustice and a cause for outrage and protest if ever there was one. We are all in awful shape when we can’t even feed our own children.

12) In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the number of U.S. citizens without health care grew to a record 50 million. Furthermore, this statistic is on track to exceed 56 million by the end of this year (prior to Obamacare – PB).

13) Lack of health insurance caused 45,000 preventable U.S. citizen deaths in 2010. The American Journal of Medicine recently released a study that stated, “Nearly two out of three bankruptcies stem from medical bills, and even people with health insurance face financial disaster if they experience a serious illness.”

14) A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study reported that 17,000 US children have died due to lack of health care. You can also add in a recent report that revealed that 2,266 U.S. veterans have died in 2008 due to lack of access to health care.

15) The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. Americans are arming themselves to the teeth! In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed across the US as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “up-tick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark.”

16) Between January 1996 and September 2006, there were 253 confirmed incursions into the United States by Mexican government personnel. There is documentation of shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling and actual confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and armed members of the Mexican military. All it will take is one violent cross-border incident to start a US-Mexican war. What is such a shame about all this is that if the US government would just call off the stupid, idiotic and pointless “war on drugs”, all the cartel-related violence that is now occurring on and below our southern border would disappear almost overnight. As it stands right now, American law enforcement and the CIA have Mexican blood on their hands.

Exacerbating all 16 of these facts – all of whom were sourced directly off the Web – is the fact that America can’t even print its own money. This critical national responsibility has been undertaken – hijacked would be more life it – by none other than the Federal Reserve. As many of you know, the Fed isn’t even a part of the US government. It’s a privately held corporation that operates in the utmost secrecy. Makes you wonder why they think they need to do that, now doesn’t it? As to how badly the Federal Reserve System (which many call the World’s largest counterfeiter) has destroyed the American economy is evidenced in their destruction of the US Dollar which has lost over a quarter of its value in the past 8 years, and what a single Dollar could buy in 1913, when this secret banking cabal began to strangle these people, would cost $21.67 today, and which comes out to a shocking inflation rate of 2067%! And, as hard as it is to believe it is nevertheless true that Americans pay more on overdraft fees to their banker masters than they spend on fresh vegetables! Russian Finance Ministry calculations dating back to 2012 show that should the American people stop paying their money to banks (mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and all declare bankruptcy, the entire debt load carried by the US Government would be paid or written off in less than 2 years and the United States would have over $85 trillion available to them over the next 10 years to pay for the complete rebuilding of their Nation and society. What we have instead is America being driven right into the ground by an evil and oftentimes crazy group of people who answer only to the top 1%, to the detriment of the remaining 99%. The worst part is that it is in their best interest to run the country into the ground because they will make a lot of money from the collapse of the USA, and that is exactly what they are trying to do.

As Benjamin Franklin famously said over 200 years ago, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” In the meantime, it is now official. A majority of Americans are willing to give up liberty in order to be safer from so-called “terrorism”. Never mind that the chief perpetrator of this “terrorism” is the US federal government and the military-industrial-intelligence complex it controls. A stunning new McClatchy-Ipsos poll has found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.” Only 36 percent of those polled agreed with this statement: “Some of the government’s proposals will go too far in restricting the publics civil liberties.” Have they really been brainwashed into willingly giving up their essential liberties just so they can feel a little safer? Maybe some have, but I sure haven’t. So almost 4 out of 5 Americans are perfectly fine with letting airport security officials gawk at their naked bodies just so they can feel a bit safer from terrorists? How crazy is that? The truth is that when Americans allow themselves to become so wimpy and so fearful that they are willing to throw many of their most important freedoms out the window, those “terrorists” have already won.

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In Loving Memory of Rev. Dr. King

I Dare To Dream

The march of economic inequality, from which springs the source of poverty, crime, violence, and lack of access to healthcare and higher education, has become the new civil rights issue of the 21st century. King’s dream of unconditional equality throughout the country can finish becoming a reality when the economic barriers that we all face on a daily basis finally come down for good, like an economic Berlin Wall. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the masses during the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and said, “I have a dream…”. By writing and publishing these words it is my intent to take up where King’s Dream left off, and to finish the job that he started, and so instead of writing, “I have a dream”, let me slightly change that to, “I dare to dream”.

I dare to dream of a world in which the gap between rich and poor is gone forever. We all deserve to live in a world where wealth has been redistributed in a peaceful and orderly manner and not by the barrel of a gun. I dare to dream of a country where wealth has been redistributed in 4 ways. First, every worker earns a living wage so poverty can be eliminated. Second, free higher education and vocational retraining is available to every worker for life, with free daycare available to all. Third, I envision a world where quality health care is available to every worker at nominal cost for life. Fourth, I see a country where home ownership isn’t part of an exclusive club, it is a basic human right.

I dare to dream of a new America with a fourteen dollar per hour minimum wage. I dare to dream of a new America where education will be subsidized from the cradle to the grave so that the US develops the most formidable work force the world has ever seen. I dare to dream of an America where all workers have the right to organize, to a flexible work week and to paid family or maternity leave.

I dare to dream of an America where affordable housing is the law of the land, where home ownership becomes a right and not a privilege so we can wipe out homelessness, and where the price of a house is limited to the sum total of seven years income of the individual or household purchaser.

I dare to dream of a country with new public works programs that put an end to unemployment forever so the USA can have full employment all the time.

I dare to dream of an America where there will be no such thing as someone without health insurance, where every citizen will have lifetime healthcare and prescription drug coverage without qualification, and where there will be the fewest sick days for American workers and their children of any country in the developed world.

I dare to dream of a new America with an all-new public school system that has an Internet-based curriculum that can be centrally updated, and that is second to none in the developed world, with a new more intensive school year and viable replacements for standardized testing, and where class size is limited by law.

 I dare to dream of a new nation where unconditional equality is the law of the land for every citizen without exception, and this will include economic equality. I dare to dream of a new America where there is no income tax, and no more withholding of federal income tax from our paychecks, no capital gains tax and no self-employment tax, and where businesses operate tax free. In its place will be a national sales tax called a Consumption Tax where everyone pays proportionately the same tax rate on only what they use, plus an “excess wealth tax” for persons with income exceeding $30 million, and on businesses with incomes exceeding $300 million.

I dare to dream of a better USA where personal privacy is the law of the land, where identity theft is a thing of the past, and where it will be illegal for employers to obtain the credit files or credit scores of any job applicant.

I dare to dream of a more compassionate America where children have the right to a challenging and progressive learning environment, and where kids will be legally guaranteed freedom from hunger, sickness and violence, and where all God’s children will have the right to safe adoption, foster care and day care.

I dare to dream of an all-new voting system, including the abolition of the Electoral College, that is Internet-based, paperless, and that can be accessed from any location using any wireless device, instead of wasting our time and fuel and losing work time going to polling stations, and instead of using unreliable and unsecured voting machines.

Finally, I dare to dream of a world in which all this is easily financially achievable because all the money that is being wasted currently on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent in Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere will be redirected towards all these dreams that I have just mentioned. The money is already there, its just being budgeted in all the wrong places. Let me tell you why.

If the US military took all the money it spends in Iraq and Afghanistan in just one day and put it into an interest-bearing account in a bank or credit union, there would be enough money available to send every American school kid from the first grade up to senior year in high school through 4 years of college fully paid for including tuition, dorms, books, food, and access to the Internet and to public transportation. Here’s another example: If the US government took all that money set aside from one days worth of military expenditures, there would be enough money to build a 2,500 square feet house, fully furnished and stocked with groceries, with all the utilities already turned on, for every homeless person in the US including all the homeless kids. That’s how easily we can end homelessness in the richest country in the world.

Just as surely as there was an Arab Spring beginning at about this time last year, that uprising of the people throughout North Africa and the Middle East that toppled one dictator after another, so I am telling you that there will be an American Spring in 2012. Beginning last fall with the start-up of the Occupy and 99% Movements, of which I am proud to be a part, this uprising of the American people against the top 1% will explode like a hydrogen mushroom cloud over the American political and economic elite, obliterating them all without anyone having fired a single shot so that the remaining 99% of us can peacefully take back what has been stolen from us over the last 100 years. We can only accomplish this by uniting together as one and acting as one body to break free from the shackles of oppression that have us all enslaved.

You have just read the end of chapter 9 of my book, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto” (Salt and Light Ministries, 472 pages, $14.95). To order your copy, go to www.2ndar.org/book_sales_and_speeches. Thanks so much.

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Fall of An Empire Part Three

Apocalypse Soon?

In this third and final installment of my series of postings on the fall of the American empire, America is under attack both from without and from within. Externally, we are under attack by a small but very malicious band of Islamic religious extremists in an often violent dispute over what God‘s proper name is while simultaneously being burdened with crushing debt that can never be repaid. Internally, our country is under attack from rampant corruption that overshadows most other countries, and it is a systemic corruption that threatens to devour us all. But there is something else going on here, something underneath the surface, that is far greater than either of these other two threats I have mentioned. I am writing about what TBN television host Grant Jeffery called a “shadow government” (he has a book out by the same name). This shadow government is a cabal of unelected, shadowy private interests that control the multinational corporations, the World Bank, the IMF and the worldwide military-industrial complex, among other things. This “shadow government” is made up of members of the top 1% income bracket, and their activities are directed against the rest of us, as all my readers know by now. I have compiled a list that proves we are under attack.

The top 16 statistics that prove “we the people” are under attack.

1) The inequality of wealth in the United States is soaring to an unprecedented level. The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the middle class and poor much harder than the top 1 percent, the gap between the top 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent of the U.S. population has grown to a record high.

2) The three big banks that took taxpayer money and benefited the most from the government bailout have just set a new global economic record by issuing $30 billion in annual bonuses this year, “up 60 percent from last year.”

3) The profits of the economic elite are “now underwritten by taxpayers with $23.7 trillion worth of national wealth.” As the looting is occurring at the top, the U.S. middle class is just beginning to collapse.

4) Workers between the ages of 55 to 60, who have worked for 20 to 29 years, have lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. During the same time period, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans went up by $30 billion, bringing their total combined wealth to $1.57 trillion.

5) Home foreclosure filings hit a record high in the third quarter. …3.4 million homes entered foreclosure by the end of 2010, and this year will be even worse.

6) 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed. That’s nearly 1 in 6 Americans.

7) There have been 123 U.S. bank failures thus far this year.

8) 10 U.S. states are on the verge of bankruptcy, with several ready to declare a financial state of emergency, such as California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

9) “U.S. public debt has topped $14 trillion for the first time in history”… This prediction, first written in the spring of 2011 when the final draft of my book was completed, has since come true as you all know.

10) The U.S. poverty rate is the highest in the industrialized world. Predictably, homelessness is rising at an increased rate as well. The U.S. government does not tally the numbers but interested organizations say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year…. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.

11) 50 percent of U.S. children, one out of every two children, will need to use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhood. This is a national disgrace, a social injustice and a cause for outrage and protest if ever there was one. We are in bad shape when we can’t even feed our own children.

12) In 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the number of U.S. citizens without health care grew to a record 50 million. Furthermore, this statistic is on track to exceed 54 million by the end of this year.

13) Lack of health insurance caused 45,000 preventable U.S. citizen deaths in 2010. The American Journal of Medicine recently released a study that stated, “Nearly two out of three bankruptcies stem from medical bills, and even people with health insurance face financial disaster if they experience a serious illness.”

14) A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study reported that 17,000 US children have died due to lack of health care. You can also add in a recent report that revealed that 2,266 U.S. veterans have died in 2008 due to lack of insurance.

15) The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. Americans are arming themselves to the teeth!

16) In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark.”

 

I got these next two postings off the Internet, with the first one originating in Russia and the second in the US.

 

Subject: US Federal Reserve “Shock” 2012 Move Dooms America

“A grim report given to President Medvedev today by Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Kudrin is stating that the private European banking conglomerate known as the United States Federal Reserve System, that basically rules over the finances of America, has given a “shock warning” to President Obama that they do not intend to renew the charter granted to them in 1913 by the US Congress and is set to expire on December 21, 2012, which (coincidentally? ) is also the exact date that the controversial Mayan Calendar predicts will be the ending of our present age.

 

To how bad the Federal Reserve System (which many call the World’s largest Counterfeiter) has destroyed the American economy is evidenced in their destruction of the US Dollar which has lost over a quarter of its value in the past 8 years, and what a single Dollar could buy in 1913, when this secret banking cabal began to strangle these people, would cost $21.67 today, and which comes out to a shocking inflation rate of 2067.0%! And as hard as it is to believe it is nevertheless true that these American people pay more on overdraft fees to their banker masters than they spend on fresh vegetables! Russian Finance Ministry calculations show that should the American people stop paying their money to banks (mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and all declare bankruptcy the entire debt load carried by the US Government would be paid in less than 2-years and the United States would have over $85 Trillion available to them over the next 10-years to pay for the complete rebuilding of their Nation and society.”

As I finished the final draft of my book this past spring, I included portions of an Internet posting on CNNMoney.comfrom March 2011 that says,” Home prices: The double-dip is near. Since then, housing prices have continued in free fall, and the double-dip in housing prices predicted in my book is now coming true, as you all know by now. So long as the US real estate market is in the tank, it will be very difficult for the remainder of the US economy to get healthy again. And if the US economy lags, so will the job market. It is only a matter of time before the American people get fed up with the lack of jobs. Civil unrest will surely follow. And now let me share the second Internet posting I mentioned above as additional proof that the USA is coming apart at the seams.

Mexican soldiers found invading United States
Government report documents dozens of armed campaigns in Texas, Arizona

Posted: January 10, 2008 © 2008 WorldNetDaily. com

This posting states that between January 1996 and September 2006, there were 253 confirmed incursions into the United States by Mexican government personnel. The government has documented shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling and actual confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and armed members of the Mexican military. All it will take is one violent cross-border incident to start a US-Mexican war. What is such a shame about all this is that if the US government would just call off the stupid, idiotic and pointless “war on drugs”, all the cartel-related violence that is now occurring on our southern border would disappear almost overnight.

 

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

In the meantime, it is now official. A majority of Americans are willing to give up liberty in order to be safer from terrorism. A stunning new McClatchy-Ipsos poll has found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.” Only 36 percent of those polled agreed with this statement: “some of the government’s proposals will go too far in restricting the public’s civil liberties.” Have they really been brainwashed into willingly giving up their essential liberties just so they can feel a little safer? Maybe they have, but I sure haven’t. So almost 4 out of 5 Americans are perfectly fine with letting airport security officials gawk at their naked bodies just so they can feel a bit safer from terrorists. How sick is that? The truth is that when Americans allow themselves to become so wimpy and so fearful that they are willing to throw many of their most important freedoms out the window, those responsible for the terror scares have already won.

It is for this reason that the Occupy Movement has become so important. I participated in Occupy DC in Washington for its first three days on October 6th, 7th and 8th. Our country is being driven right into the ground by an evil and probably crazy group of people who answer only to the top 1%, to the detriment of the remaining 99%. The worst part is that it is in their best interest to run the country into the ground because they will make a lot of money from the collapse of the USA. The current problem of Congress and their inability to pass a jobs bill is a classic example. These idiots in Washington would let joblessness and homelessness continue among their constituents in the hopes of ruining the economy so Obama won’t be reelected in 2012. In so doing this minority of ultraconservatives are guilty of dereliction of duty, and so they should be voted out of office in next year’s election. But until then, keep protesting and demonstrating, and join the national strike movement for “black Friday”, November 25, 2011, the day after Thanksgiving. Nobody goes out and nobody spends a single dollar. Everybody stays home and boycotts everything. Join us in refusing to spend!

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The Decline of the American Empire

 

Fall of the American Empire: Part One

This posting is the first in a series of three articles (or sermons on my virtual church website) on the current status of the United States as a country, and why our situation is so serious. The are based on my book, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto” (Salt and Light Ministries, 472 pages, $14.95; $1.99 for e-book on Nook and Kindle). In my previous postings I have outlined the problems of the US middle class, and how it is slowly being obliterated by the top 1% of the financial pecking order. The end result of this is that the country is being ruined, literally from the inside out, and our only hope remaining is to protest, such as the Occupy Movement, the Coffee Party, Enough is Enough, just to name a few. Search those, plus ‘occupy wall street’, for more information.

 

The plight of 99%’ers like us is that we are experiencing what is tantamount to the confiscation of our wealth and prosperity, and with it our way of life. Many of our jobs, our savings and pensions, our housing and transportation, and our access to higher education and preventative health care, are evaporating before our eyes, and this social injustice will continue unabated until we as a united people rise up as one in a chorus of peaceful revolution. I am convinced that if we do not, the next battle front being entrenched by the top 1% will be against our very freedom. In fact, this latest round of class warfare being thrust against us has already begun, and it has become known as the ‘prison-industrial complex’. Record numbers of people, many of whom are either wrongfully convicted or are harmless substance abusers in need of professional help, are being locked up systematically, and the process is slowly getting worse.

 

Prisons for Profit

The United States, according to the New York Times, has 5% of the World’s population and 25% of all people incarcerated on the planet! In reality, in the United States, one in every hundred people are in some kind of incarceration. Incarceration is big business in the United States.

Private corrections companies such as Wackenhut and others charge either the States or the federal government from $30 to $60 a bed to warehouse all these people. In 2007, according to the National Association of State Budgeting Officers, states spent $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections. That is up from $10.6 billion in 1987, a 127 increase once adjusted for inflation. With money from bonds and the federal government included, total state spending on corrections last year was $49 billion. By the end of 2011, the report said, states are on track to spend an additional $25 billion.

The United States ranks first in prison population. Where did we get all of these criminals? Well the answer comes from the reckless and costly War on Drugs, the new prohibition that makes convicts and criminals of those who are classified in more enlightened countries such as Holland and the Netherlands as having a substance abuse problem. In 2000 there were 74,276 drug related prisoners. In 2008 it was 95,079. In 2010 it was 95,205. This amounts to 50.7% of the entire prison population (as of 2011 that number is estimated at 54%). It’s also an increase of 28.2% since 2000. We house those with substance abuse problems with professional criminals. What will we get when these people are released after serving an average 55 months in prison?

This is what capitalism has done. People are now profiting by locking up other human beings. And the longer people are are locked up, the more profitable the industry is. Should we be proud that we imprison more people than any nation on Earth? Have we outsourced so many industries along with their factories that we need a giant prison system to keep people employed? If we continue to allow such a disproportionate number of poor and minority citizens to be locked up, released without rehabilitation, and locked up again, modern slavery will continue to thrive. We are supporting a modern form of slavery if we do not, at the very least, lessen the punishment for drug offenses, do away with the unconstitutional “three strikes” laws and offer education and rehabilitation as an alternative to incarceration. If we retrain prisoners, we give them a trade. If we simply incarcerate them and release them, all we get are more prisoners.

Remember, this “prison-industrial complex” is bought and paid for, and brought to you by the same “government” that has brought you: The FBI, The DEA, The BATFE, The only Atomic Bombs ever used in War, Three mile Island, Area 51, The Bay of Pigs invasion, Vietnam, Watergate, Iran Contra, Ruby Ridge, ID. and Waco, TX., Grenada, Nicaragua, Somalia, FEMA disasters and the Patriot Act. and of course the war in Iraq I and II, and now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. All of this has been and will be done in the name of National Security. When the American war machine finishes its conquests overseas to “acquire” Middle Eastern oil, the final step will be to bring the troops home so the “new world order” can turn their weapons on us. The final step, you see, will be the conquest of the Untied States. Only then will the domination and control over everything and everybody by the top 1% be secure. Allow me to document how this is being done and what the end result will be for our nation if we don’t turn this around in our favor. American citizens have a patriotic duty to dissent and to speak out when it is apparent their government is creating policies and taking actions that are in conflict with the best interests of the people and the laws of the land. The right of patriotic dissent has been a part of America since those days that brought us our independence. Yes, anyone can and should exercise the right to dissent, when the situation requires it.

 

We find ourselves living in a world where the next terrorist attack could kill everyone in your city or town, where the cost of fuel could skyrocket into the stratosphere with the next conflagration in the Middle East or the next natural disaster, and where you can become the next crime statistic on less than a moments notice. And as all these things are taking place, the solution being offered by your government, your political and economic system, your media outlets and even your churches are for more security by way of less individual freedom and personal liberty. I think it is high time that “we the people” rose up to challenge this erroneous notion that security is preferable to freedom. And I think it’s high damn time to correct the perception of the top 1%, making them understand that people are not expendable, nor are we a commodity to be exploited. We need to take matters into our own hands if we hope to get anything done, and we need to directly confront our terrible economic situation if hope to get things moving back in our favor. The system is broken, and it’s up to us to either fix it, bypass it, or replace it altogether.

The end result of the hijacking of our political and economic system by the top 1% is that the country has been run into the ground. In my opinion, and based on quite a bit of on-line research and a library of saved Internet postings and articles, it is severely damaged but it may be repairable. In the meantime, here is what America is faced with in the short term.

Seven Reasons Why Capitalism Can’t Recover Anytime Soon

  1. Central Banks are Dumbfounded. The usual tricks that U.S. and European central banks use to avoid recessions are long-exhausted. Interest rates cannot get any lower.

  2. Trade War. For a global economy to grow, global cooperation is needed. China’s economy will become the world’s largest by 2016, surpassing the US for the first time.

  3. Military War. Foreign war is a good symptom of economic decay. $57,000 a minute – that’s how much the United States spends on Iraq and Afghanistan

  4. U.S. Economy at a Standstill. The most important consumer market in the world, the U.S. is a nation of nearly bankrupt consumers. Nearly thirty million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, while further job losses are certain.

  5. Bailout Capitalism. First it was the banks and other corporations that needed bailing out, and now whole nations. Western nations bailed out their banks by falling into the massive debt that they are now drowning in.

  6. Bailout Repercussions. All western nations — including the U.S. and England — are grappling with their national debts. Rich bond investors are demanding that these countries drastically reduce their deficits, while also demanding that the deficits be reduced on the backs of working families, instead of rich investors.

  7. The Far Right Emerges. To deal with working people more ruthlessly, the radical right is being unleashed. In normal times these bigots yell furiously but no one listens. But in times of economic crisis they’re given endless airtime on all major media outlets.

 

Seven more facts about the decline of the USA.

 

1.In 2000, USA was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, USA is seventh.

 

2. USA has lost approximately 42,400 factories and 32 percent of manufacturing jobs since 2000. In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

 

3. Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

 

4. In 1980, the United States imported 37 percent of its oil. Now its 60 percent.

 

5.America’s trade deficit with China increased 300 percent in last ten years,which could eventually cost half a million jobs this year alone. Half a trillion yearly leave America due to trade deficit.

 

6. US 15-year-olds do not rank in the top half of all advanced nations in math or science literacy.

 

7. The United States has the third worst poverty rate among all the advanced nations.

So where are US resources being directed? Towards war, of course.

QUICK FACTS ON WARS AND DEFENSE SPENDING

 

—The National Security Advisor says there are less than 100 Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and we have over 100,000 troops and probably as many mercenaries chasing them.

 

—Maintaining one American soldier in Afghanistan for one year costs one million dollars. This expenditure could be for twenty jobs at home with a salary of $50,000 each.

—There are now over 90,000 battlefield casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Over 500,000 veterans patients from the two wars have flooded into VA hospitals and clinics. That’s one new war casualty walking into a VA medical facility every five minutes of every day—about 9,000 new patients every month with no end in sight. Also, one third of all returning veterans from these illegal wars wind up on psychiatric disability. They will never work again. That’s what war does to people, so why do we continue?

 

—The Iraqis still don’t have a government and Christians are being ethnically cleansed.

 

—The cost of the Iraq war alone is likely to be more than three trillion dollars. (Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel winning economist)

 

—190,000 AK-47s handed out by the US Army to Iraqi security force recruits vanished and wound up in the hands of militants.

Afghanistan soldiers have been shooting our troops!

—The total DOD budget for the current fiscal year is over $700 billion. It is an amount just under what the entire rest of the world spends for defense and most of them are allies.

—The Defense Department spends in a few hours more than al Qaeda spends in an entire year.

 

—According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 36 million Americans, including one out of every four children, are currently on food stamps. In the richest country in the world, this is inexcusable.

—Some people think the Federal Reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.

In next Sunday’s message, I will continue my documentation on what I see as the imminent destruction of the United States as we have known it. But I don’t believe for one instant that it will be the end of the line for the USA. The country itself, the land and its people, its infrastructure, the commercial structures and all the houses, most of the businesses and everything related to them, will all still be here. It will be up to us, the working people of this country (employed or not) who keep things going, to change the system from the bottom up. More on this topic in the next two weeks.

 

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The 99% Part Two

We Are The 99%: The Focus of Our Rage (part 2)

 

The third fundamental human right that I want to write about is to be free from poverty and hunger, with an equal chance at prosperity, in a clean and peaceful environment. How do we do that? We clean up the environment that we already have, and for that you will need lots of people. That brings me to the topic of a huge public works program that this country urgently needs, and this is part of the solution that I see. Therefore, this is indeed a basic human right. This is something that should already have been done at the Presidential level, but unfortunately it is not as of yet. We need massive protests and demonstrations, petitions to the President, and a major effort through the social media to get this passed into law.

All the long-term unemployed people plus all the others I mentioned above will be put to work. Some will be doing environmental cleanup, others will assist with bridge and highway repairs, and still others will be repairing sewers and sidewalks. The homeless will be put to work revitalizing abandoned homes left over from the “great foreclosure robbery” (as I call it in my book). When they are finished with the first batch, they can go live in them as they begin repairs on others. We do have the capacity to have full employment at a living wage, and to end homelessness while ending the foreclosure crisis. This is one way to accomplish just that. I encourage anyone having additional ideas to publish them as I have, the more input the better. And what about all the households where both parents work, or single-parent households? Who is going to watch all those kids? I think we should have on-site daycare available for everybody free of charge. It would be yet another way to create jobs with a starting wage of $10.00 an hour, income tax free.

The fourth fundamental human right, and another way to articulate what we want, is to address the problem of health insurance and its ridiculous cost, pricing 54 million out of the health insurance market and forcing many of us to rely on the local emergency room for medical treatment. It is a fact that every developed country in the world has national health insurance except for the United States. From Europe to Canada to Japan, getting sick is never a problem unless the illness is terminal.

Not so in the USA, where health care is on a for-profit basis, and we are the only country in the developed world where this is so. We have the highest cost for health care and for prescription drugs of any country in the world by far. In other words, good health care in this country is only for those who can afford it. The rest of us are left stranded on the side of the road to health and wellness without remedy, eventually to die, but well before our time.

So what is the solution to this pressing problem? One thing is for sure, every human being on the face of the earth has the unconditional right to good health care. It’s as basic as access to clean water (another area where mankind has some work to do). I strongly maintain that it should be a crime for any patient to die because they lacked access to treatment due to having no money or health insurance. There is simply no excuse for that to be happening in the richest country in the world, and I for one am ashamed that it is occurring, and I doubt that I am the only one who has this opinion. Also, people with preexisting conditions or catastrophic illnesses should always have unconditional access to health care. In the same way, so should anyone seeking treatment for substance abuse, or who need psychiatric care, or who are in need of any organ transplants, or kidney dialysis, or any other serious illness requiring constant monitoring or ongoing therapy.

The question remains then, and it is this: how do we get caught up with the rest of the developed world when it comes to universal health care? Also, how do we do this within the framework of the existing US health care system(s) in order to conserve on start-up costs and minimize overhead? The plan I propose is simple: Take all currently available medical care and put it under one umbrella, so to speak. Merge private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, government health insurance for civilian employees at the state and federal levels, the military and Congress’ (including the President’s) healthcare plans, plus the entire Veterans Administration hospital system into one single-payer system so that no one is left out. Next, streamline the new universal single-payer health care system by eliminating all the duplicate departments, and by making it an online, Internet-based and paperless system utilizing leading edge Information Technology in order to lower operating costs. And third, once this new online system gets rolled out and becomes available to everyone, we’ll simply eliminate Medicaid by putting everybody in the entire country on Medicare, and all persons will have unconditional access to the same level of care, from the President down to the dishwasher at your favorite restaurant. It’s already being funded with payroll deductions, so no new funding will be necessary, although the Medicare deduction could be raised in the future to cover any increase in costs. And now, before I move on, let me point out another equally big advantage to having a universal healthcare system such as this.

Having the government take over the administration of healthcare for the entire country is a solution that is long overdue. Don’t worry about what might happen to the existing insurance industry, it isn’t going anywhere and I will explain why in the next paragraph. Allowing a hypothetical universal healthcare system to work in this manner would take the burden of providing health insurance for its employees off the backs of businesses, enhancing the profit margins of all US companies both great and small. This will give the American economy – together with US businesses – a far greater shot in the arm than any government tax cut could ever hope to. In the process, making medical care IT-based as I mentioned above will bring American health and wellness into the 21st century with comparatively nominal operating costs.

So what happens to the existing insurance industry? These very companies will be the ones who will administer this new digitized healthcare system. They will do so by way of a competitive bidding process to ensure that costs are kept under control, effectively farming out the day-to-day operations of the healthcare program. The companies with the lowest bids will get the contracts, which will be brought up for renewal periodically – say, every 5 years. Running the new universal healthcare system this way will ensure that only the best insurance companies will be administering the program, and that the marginal or substandard insurance companies be ultimately either forced to improve or go out of business.

The fourth and final main thing I want to write a couple of paragraphs about is that of economic inequality, or what I call in my book “enforced inequality”. Class warfare has been declared by the top 1% against the rest of us, the 99% who are losing our jobs, our homes, our cars, our savings and eventually our health as the enforced liquidation of the US middle and working classes continues. What is needed is a peaceful and orderly redistribution of wealth that is done in a non-violent manner. So how do we accomplish this? I have a couple of ideas, but the first step for America would be to enact an all-new tax system, abolishing the federal income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax. This proposed new tax system will be a 2-tiered system, with the national sales tax – or consumption tax – set at 9% (excluding groceries, fuel, utilities, raw materials, and all government entities). Why 9%, you ask? Well, according to some data that I obtained from the IRS, as well as from the alternative media, the average personal income tax rate in 2011 is roughly 18%, so I am proposing cutting that rate in half. The second tier of this proposed new tax system will be what I call an “excess wealth tax” for the mega-rich, and for any financial transactions that are over a certain limit. For individuals, there is no income tax on the first $30 million, but anything above that gets taxed at a rate of 50%. So, a household or individual who made $50 million last year would pay no tax on the first $30 million and $10 million on the last $20 million. For businesses, the consumption tax rate is much more generous, with the first $700 million tax free, and a tax rate of one-third on anything over and above that. So, a $1 billion dollar company would pay no tax on the first $700 million, and they would pay $100 million on the last $300 million. All itemized deductions would come to an end.

Under this plan, there is ample incentive for the rich and big business to get enthused about this plan. First, the necessity of providing group health care would go away for US businesses, followed by the repeal of the income tax. All the money being spent on income taxes and group insurance could be put back into these businesses, making them more competitive than ever before. And second, the “excess wealth tax” that I just proposed would replace the capital gains tax and the estate tax, and still provide sufficient funding for costly government institutions like the military and the space program, not to mention the cost of public reeducation and the public works projects I mentioned.

Another way to redistribute wealth is by invoking the “fundamental right” I previously mentioned with regard to housing. One of the things that can and should be done with a national public works program that I wrote about previously is to get rid of all the empty, boarded-up houses that have been abandoned to foreclosure. Put all the homeless and jobless to work remodeling this otherwise worthless real estate. There are millions of unemployed construction workers who would love to get a chance to do something like this, so why not let them? And when they are finished rebuilding them, let them live in them and so revitalize America. This is how we can end unemployment and homelessness while turning around the US foreclosure crisis.

We can do the same with healthcare and with higher education. Make them both available to everyone unconditionally as a way to enforce economic equality and social parity. This is how we can redistribute American wealth in a peaceful and nonviolent manner, and in so doing set a good example for our kids and grand-kids. The days of making good healthcare and higher education available for only those who can afford it must come to an end. That is unfair, discriminatory, it is a social injustice and therefore a civil rights violation of the worst magnitude. To tell anyone that they can’t stay well or can’t improve themselves should be a crime.

In closing, everybody needs to have an income and a livelihood. It is cruel and mean-spirited to tell anyone that they are not needed nor wanted, or that they can’t be hired because there is allegedly no money to pay them while corporate America sits on trillions of dollars in excess cash. If unemployment is brought to an end using the methods and ideas that I have written about, poverty, hunger and crime will be brought to an end as well. We already have the means to do this, so it would be irresponsible for us not to act.

Some will say, yes, but employed at what? I’ve been looking for a job for over a year and I haven’t found squat. Brothers and sisters, this is not your fault. Your government, together with some of this country’s most well-known institutions such as the US educational system and the multinational corporations, have let you down. All the jobs that could be outsourced overseas were sent away, never to return. The ones that couldn’t be outsourced were mostly downsized out of existence. It is for these reasons that we are now protesting in the streets and occupying America in New York, Boston, Washington, DC and Atlanta, among others. Because the truth of the matter is that since these jobs aren’t coming back, we as a country should be making new ones, and this should have started years ago. We have a lot of catching up to do in the area of job creation. The good news is that there are new industries currently being born that can replace all those lost jobs that I wrote about. Green industries like solar power, windmill power generators, the construction of a low-voltage national electrical grid and of fusion reactors, not to mention biotechnology, stem cell research, nanotechnology, robotics, seashore desalination plants for an endless supply of clean water, and a greatly expanded and revitalized space industry.

Seriously, people! We first landed on the moon in 1969, took our last trip there in 1972, after which our country’s “leadership” mysteriously gave up and quit. This was alleged at the time to be due to insufficient funding, but if the US hadn’t been involved with the war in Vietnam, America could easily have afforded to continue NASA’s Apollo program. The immoral and strategically questionable wars in Iran and Afghanistan today are preventing our country from returning to space in much the same way as Vietnam did. It’s all a matter of the proper allocation of resources.

We are supposed to be in the space business already! Hello! Instead, we debate among ourselves whether or not women should have abortions, or whether gay marriage is acceptable or not. Speaking as an evangelical Internet preacher of the radical kind, if we are serious about wanting to lead good lives and to be productive contributors towards the common good, then we need to be creating jobs and helping to rebuild people’s lives. I also am appalled that the mainstream church is so against abortion while being in favor of the death penalty and of waging war. I am equally appalled at the mainstream denominations for their condemnation of gay marriage while the divorce rates for evangelicals are about the same as for the secular world. These are glaring contradictions to their faith, to say the least.

OK, so here’s how we fix our public schools and accelerate the start-up of all these new 21st century businesses, all at the same time. First, government and business should get together and find a way to give large grants to these fledgling companies that are already started up in one form or another. They need start-up capital, and they’re not going to find it at the bank branch down the street from them. Government can and must step in. Our only alternative is to become a second-rate country, a has-been of military and economic power.

The other thing that needs to be done is to start training future astronauts now. Update public school curriculum, and put it on-line. Turn the public schools into an Internet-based system that is paperless and that doesn’t need to buy expensive textbooks every year (save the trees!). Then, start teaching the kids skills that they will need for a technology-based world and a digital workplace, with an emphasis on science and math. Start teaching them to be astronauts when they’re 12 years old, because by the time they graduate from college there will be thousands of astronauts needed, not just a select lucky few like today.

Then do the same with the adults. Retrain everybody who can’t find work, or who is in need of a career change, and pick up the tab. Performing this service for America’s workforce will literally lift it all up to the next level and make it much more competitive. I have heard people complain over and over again that “we can’t compete” with some dude in China who does the same job we do for $2.00 a day. What America needs is new careers to replace those that have been eliminated. We not only have the capacity to do this already, but we are way behind and we have some catching up to do. But we are Americans. We can and will succeed if only we will unite together in this effort.

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The 99% Part One

We Are The 99%: The Focus of Our Rage

Having just gotten back from “Occupy DC” in Washington after a 3-day stay has given me a far clearer perspective and a more intense fervor for the mushrooming #occupy Movement. But first allow me to give my readers a little background on why the #occupy/OWS phenomenon is so personal a struggle for me. Not only am I a part of the 99%, I find myself at or near the bottom of that group as well. Like so many of those disenchanted and disenfranchised Americans who are participating in these worldwide protests, I too have fallen a long way. My story may be similar to others you have heard to one degree or another.

I am a computer/IT professional forced into early retirement due to long-term unemployment which ultimately made me homeless after I finally ran out of cash. After being homeless for a few weeks, my health simply collapsed from the stress and strain – and because of exposure to the weather – and I would up in the hospital for a lengthy stay. After leaving the hospital I would up on disability, and I’ve been living on this miniscule income for nearly a year now. I have tried repeatedly to reenter the workforce, but my age and my 3-year absence from the IT profession has made that impossible. So I wrote a book about my experiences after doing considerable research about long-term unemployment, homelessness, and the lack of access to regular healthcare and the ability to retrain oneself for a new profession, and how they are all related to one another. It was these barriers that prevented me from reentering the job market and forced me into early retirement, and I discovered that this was actually commonplace in 21st century America. That’s why I wrote my book, and I will mention it only at the end of this essay, because the purpose of this publication is to strengthen, empower and enhance the OWS protests, not to sell books. I already do that on my websites anyway, but I will mention them briefly at the end.

I have given a lot of thought and engaged in plenty of research regarding the plight of the 99%, and what should and should not be done to bring the top 1% in line with the rest of us. I will now attempt to spell out the basics of what we want, and why we 99%-‘ers are undertaking the various occupations that are springing up all over the world. We all want basically the same things. We want all the legalized bribery out of politics. This can be accomplished by simply outlawing the lobbyist profession, or at least in Washington specifically and in government overall. If Washington won’t do it then “we the people” will have to do it for them. We can accomplish this by, among other things, occupying K Street and the offices of the lobbyists, or by laying siege to their offices through human barricades (nobody comes and nobody goes). This issue stands alone and I think it should be treated separately from everything else. Take the rampant corruption out of politics and fully investigate Wall Street and prosecute those responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown.

From my vantage point, and based on my own experiences, the least common denominator to everything that we are protesting, marching and occupying for can be boiled down to 2 things: the rights of workers and independent contractors, and the right to economic equality including the restoration of the American middle class to its former economic and social position in American society. These rights, in turn, have a number of offshoots and related issues that, when organized into a clear and succinct set of ideas, become what I call the Eight Fundamental Rights of Mankind. Allow me to use the next few pages to explain exactly what I mean, and how we can go about accomplishing these goals in a manner that is legal, peaceful and orderly so we can set a good example for our nation’s kids and grand-kids. One very good way that we could go about accomplishing this is to emulate the peaceful and nonviolent tactics of Rev. Dr. King, Jr. that were utilized during the civil rights marches and protests of the 1950’s and 1960’s. In so doing, history will be on our side and victory against the top 1% will ultimately be ours.

Let me add one more thing before I get into this. You will notice as you read the rest of this essay that there are a lot of ideas in here about how to restore America and its middle class, and how to re-balance the distribution of wealth in a peaceful and orderly manner. Some of my ideas may be accepted because they are simple and practical solutions to certain big problems that America faces, and because my ideas can be easily implemented using our existing governmental framework and technology. There may be other ideas found here that you may totally disagree with. That is your prerogative and your opinion, and you are most definitely entitled to it. But that’s not the point of this essay, nor is it the point of the political manifesto that I wrote and recently published. The point of all this is to get the conversation started, and to name some good starting points from which this conversation can be initiated. If anyone reading this feels that they have some better ideas than what I propose, then by all means write a book of your own or start a blog about that topic and publish it as I have. There’s nothing stopping you. I would rather that all of us be part of the solution than anyone be part of the problem.

The first and foremost issue of what we 99%-‘ers want should be the rights of all workers and independent contractors. We want a $10.00 per hour minimum wage combined with the abolition of the federal income tax and an end to the withholding of US income tax from our paychecks. This would give everyone who makes less than $108.000.00 per year a pay raise amounting to an average of 20% immediately, pumping millions of fresh dollars into the US economy that generates billions in new tax revenue without raising any taxes. Full employment should become the new standard of the world, and that standard should be set by the USA. That’s why I’m advocating a huge public works program to end unemployment. I will write more about that topic further down in this document and treat it as a separate issue.

The second “fundamental right” I wish to mention is that right to re-education and/or retraining at will and without cost. This is what we should do for all the long-term unemployed, all the homeless who are healthy enough to work, all unemployed veterans, and for all newly released prisoners who are re-entering society. This is how we can end homelessness for good; simply give these people a trade. Every human being on the face of the earth has the unconditional right to a livelihood and to a living wage. Those unable to find work, or who are having difficulty locating suitable work, and those needing to learn new job skills in order to be self-sufficient have the right to professional retraining without cost. Let our colleges and universities remain as they are, except that they should obtain government grants or utilize other methods to fund education so that higher education is unconditionally accessible to everyone. The days of for-profit educational institutions must come to an end, because I am convinced that it is immoral to profit to financial excess from other people’s educations. The best part about this as far as I am concerned is that America can easily afford this, and I will use the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan as an illustration.

If the US government took all the money spent in one single day on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and put it into a savings account, there would be enough money to put every school kid in America through 4 years of college fully paid for, including tuition, books, dorms, food, transportation and Internet access, plus miscellaneous expenses. This is what converting to a peacetime economy can do for America. And all on one day’s military expenditures.

There is one more important thing that I have yet to mention. The world is changing and developing so rapidly as scientific and technological advances are made that the job market has become very dynamic, and the pace of this advancement is accelerating. As that happens, different types of jobs will come and go in order to meet demand, and so higher education and vocational training will most definitely adjust their curriculum accordingly. As a result, some very traditional jobs are disappearing. Just ask anybody who used to be in the travel industry, or direct sales, or a factory worker, or a former computer repairman like I was for 23 years. When I went back and tried to get retraining I was told that my credit rating was bad and that I didn’t qualify for a student loan. Many of the courses taught in various vocational schools cost tens of thousands of dollars, and I was broke at the time (come to think about it I still am, but I digress). So, I found myself shut out from any chance at changing careers, and this is actually quite commonplace in today’s dreary job market. Therefore I insist that that this must come to an end, and that higher education be free for everybody. The days of a college education being only for those who can afford the tuition (or “qualify” for predatory and unethical student loans) must come to an end. Do you want to have a better educated country? Fine! Let everybody who wants to get educated go back to school, and let the government and corporate America foot the bill. The funds are definitely available.

Of course, I can hear my critics laughing already. Where, they will say, do we get the money to fund re-educating the whole country? We’re running a $14 trillion deficit as it is! You know what? You’re absolutely right, we do have a seemingly insurmountable federal deficit. How do we tackle both problems together? By creating new taxpayers who have found new careers and gotten their incomes restarted, and there is ample precedent for this very thing. At the end of World War 2, there were about 600,000 former GI’s who had just returned from the European and Pacific theaters in the wars against Germany and Japan. Many of them didn’t have any marketable job skills, so Congress passed the GI Bill and put all those soldiers through 4 years of college. It paid off handsomely, paving the way for the record economic expansion of the 1960’s. Well, if they could do that in the 1940’s, why can’t they do it in 2011? The answer is that the system most certainly can, and we of the #occupy Movement must count reeducation as one of the things that we occupy for. Either employ us or retrain us, and we’re not leaving until we get what we want.

One final thing about the basic right to higher education, and that is the volatility of the job market due to reasons I already mentioned above. According to data I obtained from the US Department of Labor, and some additional information I obtained from “CareerBuilder.com”, The average student graduate from college today will have to change careers anywhere from 5 to 8 times during the course of their lifetime employment. So, by today’s standards, and assuming career changes involve getting 2-year degrees, somebody going back to school a total of 8 times multiplied by the average cost of obtaining each of those degrees – roughly $30,000.00 times as much as eight – could be as much as a quarter of a million dollars, plus interest. Do our colleges and universities seriously believe that people will be willing to go into that much debt from student loans in their lifetimes, just so they can remain employable? How ridiculous! The cost of tuition for higher education in the early 21st century has reached a level that is so extremely high that getting a degree will be financially out of reach for all but the top few percent. Excluding all the others for purely financial reasons is a social injustice and a human rights violation. We must start demanding our right to higher education as part of our goals. And so we will continue to occupy our space until we get what we want.

Part 2 will be published later tonight

For more info on my book, “The Middle and Working Class Manifesto”, go to http://www.2ndar.org

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Revolution is in the air! can you feel it too?

The People’s Manifesto and Why It Matters

This week I am going to change gears insofar as far as the Sunday sermons that I have been publishing on this website. I would like to use this occasion to begin the explanation of my new book (I use the word “my” in the loosest possible terms because it is dedicated to the Lord), “The Middle And Working Class Manifesto”. You can order it direct from the Second American Revolution at 2ndar.org.

Basically, this is a book that spells out the basic human rights of the US middle and working classes while standing up for the rights of minorities and the poor as it speaks truth to power. The Manifesto itself is a simple and direct 39 page document, followed by a 400+ page explanation that is divided into two parts, thirteen chapters and a total of 472 pages in paperback form. It proclaims the foundation of what I call the Second American Revolution, and it advocates non-violent social change, an overhaul of the predatory capitalist economic system, and it spells out the rights of US workers and their families. The details will become apparent as I begin to write on this subject, and I will be doing so in a series of sermons and Internet postings starting this week, in preparation for the book’s debut. Why did I write this book? Simply put, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus – and a radical one at that, as my regular readers have no doubt noticed (such as my advocacy of the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis for medical and personal use) – it is imperative that I take a stand against what I view as a series of gross social injustices currently existent in America. After all, what good is my faith and my ministry if I am unwilling to stand up for the rights of the oppressed? Also, what good is my faith and my ministry if I am unwilling to voice my opposition to ten years of mindless war that is based on a series of lies? With that in mind, I will start this series with a sizable excerpt from the book’s introduction.

Introduction To The Manifesto

When in the course of current events the constituency of the United States finds itself oppressed and hemmed in by that political body which governs us, and when the working people of this great country which I love so much finds itself with its backs against the wall due to circumstances and situations which are beyond our control, it naturally become the patriotic duty of every concerned American to stand up to and to oppose that which suppresses and restricts the God-given freedoms spelled out in our US Constitution, and to draw a line in the sand of civilization that guarantees the health, wealth and prosperity of us all. As peaceful and law-abiding citizens, we have been governed by the rule of law which is summarized in a document that working Americans continue to revere, none other than the Constitution of the United States, in keeping with the time-honored traditions passed down to us by our founding fathers.
But lately our sacred Constitution has been bastardized and prostituted not only by those in power within the federal government, but more directly by the armies of corporate lobbyists who have invaded Washington and seized control of our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government for the sole express purpose of engineering a bloodless coup de etat that is being carried out not by bullets but by vast sums of money that are at once immoral, illegal, and a veritable avalanche of green and greedy corruption. The sole express purpose of this financial invasion is to forcibly liquidate the middle and working classes in this great country of ours. This is being done deliberately and with sinister calculation by the wealthiest Americans from Wall Street to a myriad of corporate boardrooms all across America for the sole express purpose of focusing and concentrating all available wealth into the kleptomaniac-like hands of the top 1% of wage earners and business owners all across America. In fact, I further submit and assert that this is all being done at the expense of the US middle and working classes, the result of which is to force an ever-increasing number of working Americans from all walks of life into ever-increasing poverty.

With mass unemployment, a veritable storm of foreclosures, increasingly unaffordable healthcare, and with higher education rapidly becoming further out of reach for the middle class and particularly for the poor, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the middle and working class here in the good old USA is finding itself surrounded and besieged by an army of the usurpers of power in our country. As a direct result, more and more working Americans, the people who are the backbone of the US economy, are finding themselves moving in with friends and family members to stave off what would otherwise be a pandemic outbreak of homelessness and despair. In point of fact, the are now more college-educated people living in homeless shelters or in their cars – if they are lucky enough to still own a vehicle – than at any other time since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. And that is a social injustice.

Indeed, the circumstances and situations that the middle and working classes in the US find themselves in today are a series of gross social injustices that demands a sharply focused and well-coordinated response from the entire populace, a rebuttal and decisive counterattack designed and intended to right, correct and re-balance US political power back into the hands of the overwhelming majority of American citizens to whom it rightfully belongs. There can be no doubt that class warfare has been declared in the US, perpetrated by the wealthy against the middle and working classes, for the sole express purpose of eliminating from society the constitutional majority of working Americans, with the end result being the complete and merciless liquidation of middle and working class wealth, general prosperity, and even our health. This has been accomplished by the largest transfer of wealth in all of human history, and it has been manifested in four different ways.

First, the employment of working Americans, particularly of the US working class, has been decimated by closing down manufacturing facilities and shipping jobs overseas to the third world for pennies on the dollar. The result of this has been mass unemployment of many millions of American workers, and those jobs in the American manufacturing sector, which was once the world’s largest and whose direct result was victory in World War Two, are very likely to never return. One direct effect this has had is the gradual elimination of labor unions in this country, and the US labor movement is now on life support as a result. All the wages of the blue collar sector of the US economy are now redirected into the pockets of the top 1% of the American populace in terms of net wealth, not to mention the benefits and retirement pensions of these same people who made these corporations into the mega-companies that they are today.

Second, the retirement savings of the middle and working classes have been severely compromised or even liquidated altogether by the crooked and devious manipulations of Wall Street bankers, market speculators, hedge fund managers and corporate boards of directors who engineered the largest swindle in human history back in 2008. This criminal act resulted in the US government bailout know as TARP, an $850 billion bank robbery of the US Treasury conceived and carried out by the same Ponzi-schemers who ran the US economy into the ground in the first place. The cost of this bailout has been put on the backs of the middle and working classes, their children and grandchildren, and has generated a federal government budget deficit that has exceeded $14 trillion dollars as I write this, a staggering sum that threatens to bankrupt the country and destroy the formerly good credit rating of the United States. In only one generation, our great country that I love so much has been transformed from the world’s greatest lender to its greatest borrower, with the majority of this debt being financed by China. One of these days China is going to get tired of lending us money and will at that point call in the debt, which America may not be able to repay, particularly if China refuses to accept US dollars as a form of repayment.

I shudder to think of what will happen next, with China taking large chunks of American collateral to satisfy this crushing debt load. This could even lead to Chinese troops on our western shores in a worst case scenario. The final collapse of the US economy would inevitably follow.

Third, the largest transfer of wealth in human history is being enforced by runaway prices for college and university tuition that are being deliberately engineered by wealthy elitists for the sole express purpose of putting higher education financially out of reach for an increasing majority of the American middle class. And those who do make it into colleges or universities are finding themselves buried under an overwhelming pile of student loans, some of which are so huge that they end up well into six figures, larger even than some home mortgages. These student debt loans are so enormous that an increasing number of graduates find themselves moving back in with their parents, or sharing living quarters with friends and acquaintances, when they finally do graduate. These same hard-working graduates are now increasingly finding that they can’t find suitable employment upon graduation, or are winding up in menial jobs that pay so poorly they can’t repay their student loans. This ruins their credit ratings, making it even harder to find employment that pays a living wage.

Fourth, the largest transfer of wealth in human history is being reinforced by a healthcare system that has become so expensive that over 50 million Americans can no longer afford health insurance. This has left an increasing percentage of working Americans one accident or catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy, and all without remedy. As more and more US workers find themselves unable to afford health coverage, an increasing number of people are putting off doctor and/or dental visits and not refilling needed prescriptions for purely financial reasons, and the physical and mental health of these hapless individuals slowly erodes away as a direct consequence.

I find myself among these people that I have just described, and so I decided to write this book as a way to fight back against an entrenched political and economic system that is rigged from top to bottom. I am a computer and information technology professional by trade. I have been in this vocation for over twenty years, and I have five diplomas hanging on my wall that I have accumulated over the years of my employment (a photograph of these diplomas is at the end of this introduction). In spite of my professional success in the past, I have not had a regular 40-hour-per-week job in nearly three years as I write this. What I have had instead is a series of temporary jobs with lackluster pay and no employee benefits. As time has gone on, the duration of these temp jobs in the IT industry has become shorter and shorter while the periods of unemployment in between have become longer and longer. This has wreaked havoc on my life both professionally and financially.
Things have become so bad and so unstable that I have suffered through two periods of being homeless since 2005, once for three weeks and another for an agonizing and soul-crushing four months. Being a man in my fifties as I am, I find that the older I get the more difficult it becomes to find suitable work in my field.

My story is not unique – far from it. There are tens of millions of formerly middle class people just like me all across the country who find themselves in similar circumstances to mine to varying degrees of severity. Many have not been as fortunate as me. They have lost jobs like I have, been forced out into the street due to the epidemic of foreclosures throughout the land, had their cars repossessed leaving them with no way to get to work assuming that they are lucky enough to still have jobs, and are hounded by collection agencies for debts great and small. They have no access to health care except to show up at the local emergency room with no way to pay the bill, putting them even deeper into debt than they already are. They have watched their pensions and their retirement savings evaporate due to market manipulations by unscrupulous “financial managers” who earn obscene bonuses whether they succeed or fail, and all at the expense of their clients. Either that or they have spent their savings during interminably lengthy periods of unemployment after their jobs were downsized or out-sourced overseas to the third world, never to return again. And their children, the ones lucky enough to be able to go to college, are graduating with crushing student loan debts that will take decades to repay if they can be repaid at all, depending on whether they can find suitable work or not. What good is a four-year degree if you wind up flipping hamburgers, selling shoes or digging ditches? Meanwhile, the best jobs, the best educations, and the best incomes are reserved for the wealthy and their families.

The same goes for the best health care, the nicest cars and boats and even airplanes, and the best retirement plans. All of this and more are systematically being procured by the top 1% of wage earners in the US at the expense of everybody else. It’s steak for them and beans for the rest of us, and the portions for the middle and working classes are getting ever smaller each day. There is no question whatsoever that class warfare has been declared by the rich, powerful and well-connected, and all at the expense of over 95% of the rest of America. I think it’s time to fight back, and that is why I wrote this book.

This book and its author are the new voice of dissent in middle America. It is not right-wing nor is it from the left, but rather it is written from from the standpoint of middle America and from the vantage point of the oppressed multitudes who are crying out for relief and rescue from the perilous circumstances and life-threatening situations that working Americans from all walks of life find themselves in. This book is a wailing civil defense siren ringing out across the land that I love.

It is a warning buzzer on the basketball court of life signifying that a new middle class team of endless depth is now taking the court, sending the wealthy and powerful to the showers so that the stench of corruption can be washed from them because they so desperately need it. It is the national anthem of true American patriotism being played before the start of a baseball game signaling that the new expansion team from middle America is about to take the field. This book is an air raid siren sounding out across the land of the rich and powerful as a warning that the middle and working class counterattack is about to commence.

No more will we stand and stare or sit and grumble about having our houses, jobs, cars, savings, health, higher education and our retirements forcibly taken away wholesale while an ever greater portion of American wealth is concentrated into the hands of a small minority of multimillionaires. It is time for the middle and working classes to put our collective foot down and say”no more”.
The time has arrived for us to take back our country by any and all means possible. It is time for political power to be taken out of the hands of corporate America and their invading hordes of lobbyists who would presume to take over our country by means of economic warfare, and to place it back into the hands of “we the people”, the true owners of this great country of ours. And we will do so knowing that history and our founding fathers are on our side, because they left us with a sacred document known as the Constitution of the United States that guarantees us that right. Our free speech and freedom of expression that are guaranteed under the First Amendment, as well as our right to keep and bear arms and to form militias that are guaranteed under the Second Amendment, will not be compromised or trampled upon. We will demonstrate in the streets, we will besiege government buildings, we will bombard our congressmen and women with phone calls and emails, we will form new political parties, we will organize and build labor unions, we will blockade wealthy neighborhoods, we will organize peaceful public events and non-violent sit-ins, we will call general strikes and consumer boycotts, and we will not stop until the balance of power in this country undergoes a paradigm shift back into the hands of hard-working Americans, as well as those who want jobs and can’t find them.

We will fight from the highest mountains, from the lowest valleys, from the rooftops of buildings, we will fight in the cities and in the countryside, from the Jersey shore to the beaches of the west coast, and from the Canadian border down to the border with Mexico. We will not stop until we get our country back, and we shall never surrender. If the government mistakenly labels us as domestic terrorists, which we most certainly are not, then we shall call ourselves freedom fighters and American patriots. We shall fight with non-violent civil disobedience, we shall – so far as it is possible – demonstrate and march peacefully throughout the land, until we get our country restored to us, the workers of America, to whom it rightfully belongs.

Let there be no mistake, America is ripe for mass civil disobedience, even for outright revolution. The conditions and circumstances in which the middle and working classes find ourselves has become intolerable. Personally, I am a very patient and thoughtful man. I work hard each day to be slow to speak and quick to listen because I know from experience that there is much wisdom to be derived from living my life this way. But by the same token, I am a Christian man whose patience is at its end. Just as surely as Jesus preached against the political and religious establishment of His day, in like manner I will do the same in the present day in order to emulate the man I regard as my personal Savior.

So, if you truly care about the deteriorating state of our nation, if you are really concerned about the issues that we are faced with collectively as a people, and if you want to make a stand against social and economic injustice, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It is my sincere hope that, after reading it, you will be inspired to take decisive action against the rich and powerful who are slowly enslaving us all.

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