Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Just Not on the TV News - FAIR Study By Neil deMause and Steve Rendall The PDF version of the study is available here. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 37 million Americans—one in eight—lived below the federal poverty line in 2005, defined as an annual income of $19,971 for a family of four. Yet poverty touches a far greater share of the population over the course of their lives: A 1997 study by University of Michigan economist Rebecca Blank found that one-third of all U.S. residents will experience government-defined poverty within a 13-year period. The poorest age group is children, with more than one in six living in official poverty at any given time. Moreover, the poverty line itself, which hasn’t been changed in almost four decades except to account for inflation, has been widely criticized as an antiquated measure of actual levels of need. Mark Greenberg, director of the Task Force on Poverty at the Center for American Progress, wrote in the American Prospect in April 2007: Studies of a minimally decent standard of living routinely find that the typical cost is twice as high as the poverty line or higher. Ninety million Americans—nearly one-third of the nation—have household incomes below twice the poverty line, a figure far larger than the official number of 37 million in poverty. * * Soulfully Gay, by Joe Perez In the foreword to Soulfully Gay, Ken Wilber writes: "Joe Perez’s book is perhaps the most astonishing, brilliant, and courageous look at the interface between individual belief and cultural values that has been written in our time. By a homosexual, or a heterosexual, or any other sexual I am aware of." * Self Liberating Spirit - Contemplation about liberation of humans from authority, by Max Rebel Social power can be useful and positive only when there is an egalitarian balance between the social powers of all members of the society. Capitalism and the contemporary version of democracy, which I would like to call false democracy, encourage continuous and cruel battle for increasing ones own social power and wealth relative to, and at the expense of, the social power and wealth of the others. In a false democracy, where people give up their own rights and powers to some elected authoritarian careerist creatures, who then control, exploit, oppress and murder them for the benefit of the rich and powerful, the whole culture is focused on competing, winning and dominating. The ones who manage to achieve more power by manipulating, exploiting and destroying others, are considered to be more worthy people, and they get credit, acknowledgement, admiration, yes, they are the heroes of false democracy. The situation in the economy, the state and the religious organizations is not better either: the capitalists and their agents, the bureaucrats and the clergy, are rewarding people who can trample on fellow human beings for climbing up the ladder of power. Our culture is hierarchic, it works as an incubator for breeding out creatures who are dreaming of and fighting for power above others, and weak zombies who slavishly accept their own misfortune and willingly present their bodies and minds for regular, devastating and unending abuse by the ones who have got more power. ...

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