Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Sky Is Falling!

If any fable could sum up what folly unwarranted fears given too much attention can do it's the story of Chicken Little. Good intentions I suppose but a lesson there to be learned for sure. Unless the effort is based on reality any good intention is pointless. Like catching a 40 yard touchdown pass out of bounds. A lot of wasted exertion and effort for something profitless. If not... as the story goes, to one's doom. Not familiar with the story? It goes like this...

Chicken Little likes to take walks in the forest. One day while she is walking an acorn falls from a tree, and hits the top of her little head. "My, oh, my, the sky is falling. I must run and tell the lion about it," says Chicken Little and begins to run. She runs and runs. By and by she meets the hen. "Where are you going?" asks the hen. "Oh, Henny Penny, the sky is falling and I am going to the lion to tell him about it." "How do you know it?" asks Henny Penny. It hit me on the head, so I know it must be so," says Chicken Little. "Let me go with you!" says Henny Penny. "Run, run!" So the two run and run until they meet Ducky Lucky. "The sky is falling," says Henny Penny. "We are going to the lion to tell him about it." "How do you know that?" asks Ducky Lucky. "It hit Chicken Little on the head," says Henny Penny."May I come with you?" asks Ducky Lucky. "Come," says Henny Penny, "Run, run!" So all three of them run on and on until they meet Foxy Loxy. "Where are you going?" asks Foxy Loxy. "The sky is falling and we are going to the lion to tell him about it," says Ducky Lucky. "Do you know where he lives?" asks the fox. "I don't," says Chicken Little. I don't," says Henny Penny. "I don't," says Ducky Lucky. "I do," says Foxy Loxy. "Come with me and I can show you the way." He walks on and on until he comes to his den. "Come right in,"  says Foxy Loxy. They all go in, but they are never, ever seen again.

Sucks for them, huh?! You let fear take ya too far and disaster is just up ahead waiting to ambush ya! And there is sooo much stuff out there to take you down a wrong path these days. Whether it's Chinese troops massing in Mexico for an invasion, global warming or the sky is falling or whatever! It is ALWAYS best to check the available facts keeping your emotions in check lest they take you to that magical kingdom of the foolish where one's own feelings rule and knowledge is founded only on one's own personal  existence and one's own private perceptions...  which trumps all. Although the population has all but exceeded its capacity, it seems no matter in our day and time to those that are stampeding to get in! I bring these matters up as... like you maybe, I do want to be aware of what's going on around me. These are strange days, to say the least... as the human race gets herded towards one world government and it does take a sharp eye and a steady hand to navigate the cross currents of information available to us today. There are many out there in the wilderness we call the world wide web publishing material to drum up sensationalism and attract attention to themselves and there are many concerned citizens intending well but passing on information that just isn't true. “Many of us are hard-wired to be paranoid about things falling from the sky,” wrote an editorialist in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Cold rain, rocks dropped by delinquents from highway overpasses and air show accidents freak us out. They awaken in us that primal fear that thunderbolts were flung from heaven.” We... as sons and daughters of God, citizens of His kingdom as well as rational human adults everywhere have a responsibility to not spread misinformation that would cause another to go down a wrong path. With that in mind (and tongue in cheek!)... THE SKY'S ABOUT TO FALL ON OUR HEADS!!!


It's been on the news lately that NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is headed back to earth. Uncontrolled. UARS was launched in 1991 by the Space Shuttle Discovery. It was 35 feet long, 15 feet in diameter, weighs 13,000 pounds, and carried 10 instruments. UARS orbited at an altitude of 375 miles with an orbital inclination of 57 degrees. Designed to operate for three years, it was officially decommissioned on Dec. 14, 2005. It's orbit decaying ever since and has been so out of control NASA hasn't been able to really determine where it will land but expects 26 large pieces of the satellite (the heaviest about 330 pounds) to survive all the way down and hit the surface of the planet. The debris is expected to stretch along a 500-mile path. At the time of this writing NASA has reported it came down over the Northern Pacific Ocean just off the U.S. West Coast between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. No debris field has been found as yet. This reentry certainly was not given as much attention as when SkyLab came down on July 11, 1979Skylab was much bigger — about the size of a house — while the UARS is more along the lines of a city bus. When bits of Skylab fell in western Australia, no one was injured but the local authorities did fine NASA $400 for littering. 

Whew! OK... so we dodged that one! Now... how about traffic in our solar system? Although there isn't nearly as much debris flying around in our solar system as when the solar system was younger, there is still a lot of our solar system-building "left overs" out there. And we've had some near misses recently with what is termed as "Near Earth Objects" (NEOs). Such as asteroid 2009 BD. This 23-foot (7 meter) space rock came within about 215,000 miles (346,000 km) of Earth at around 8:51 pm EDT on June 2 of this year. And there was 2009 DD45 200' wide rock that missed our planet by 40,000 miles (6,440 km) on March 2, 2009. Forty thousand miles may sound like a lot, but it's only about one-seventh of the way to the moon, and less than twice as far out as many telecommunications satellites. The moon's average distance from us is about 239,000 miles (385,000km). Two Australian astronomers discovered that one just 3 days before it passed by us the "first" time. Two asteroids several meters in diameter and in unrelated orbits passed within the moon's distance of Earth on September 8, 2010. May as well mention 2009 BD81. Listed as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) with several possible Earth impact risks after 2042." - UniverseToday.com  The nearest near miss on record? Surprisingly maybe but it occurred February 4, 2011. CQ1, a one "... meter-size rock flew over the Pacific at an altitude of about 5,500 kilometers (3,420 miles) — about one-seventieth the distance between Earth and the moon and well below the orbit of some high-flying satellites." - ScientificAmerica.com Most recently we've had the comet Elenin swing into our solar back yard. The Earth is expected to pass through the comets "tail" November 2... in less than two months. And... as shown in this week's Recommended Video clip below, it ain't alone up there! This is the best video I was able to find showing the recent solar system traffic. If ya like AC/DC ya might just enjoy the clip even more! If you're not an AC/DC fan... well, I didn't embed the music!

There is some speculation about the comet Elenin. A lot of 2012 doomsayers are busy with this one too. The comet itself is relatively very small (2 - 3 miles or 3 -5 km wide) and cannot cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on Earth. We are not going to have a 3 day solar eclipse. Elenin will pass about 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from Earth during its closest approach on Oct. 16, 2011. Images in print  and on a the web of a "second sun" is most likely lense glare. I found one Australian Astronomer/Blogger that has been debunking a lot of this web circulated misinformation and can be seen here. The one thing I don't get is all the maps I've seen of the path of this comet shows angled course adjustments. Heavenly bodies don't move like that unless they've been physically hit by something. Something really strange about that. But... as science has noted the comet itself is diminishing rapidly as it took a hit from a solar flare on August 19. Or! Is it some cleverly disguised ET vessel?! Hmmm?!

Recommended Video:  Recent Solar System traffic 5:43




Related Links
SkyLab
Asteroid 2009 BD
NASA's Asteroid Watch
Grilled Chicken Recipes
NASA's NEO Watch Program
Gotta Watch: The Sky Is Falling - 3 CNN videos
NASA's Q&A About the comet Elenin
Worse Space Debris Events Of All Time
NASA Speaks On Elenin, 2012 And Nibiru - video


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Should Home Based Bible Studies Be Government Approved?

WorldNetDaily.com has been tracking a story for a few years that should be given some notice. It seems to have begun in the spring of 2009 in San Diego, CA, reached out to Gilbert, AZ  in late winter 2010 and has spread recently to  San Juan Capistrano, CA. A story that can boggle your mind on how a local ordinance could be passed that violates at least two basic liberties guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. A story that just seems so stupid it could even be real. The story? Government officials on local levels are fining U.S. citizens for holding Bible studies in their homes citing that local ordinances are being violated.

Now if that isn't a bombshell going off in your mind chances are you don't understand the concept of "Separation of Church And State" or the intent of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. We all know there are many among us that also do not really care of this issue. We know there's some that believe the "U.S. Constitution is in the way". It may be surprising to realize many Americans do not actually know all that much concerning The U.S. Constitution. The following is an excerpt from annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org; ("The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has been the premier communication policy center in the country since its founding in 1993." - from that site's About page)



  • Just 38% could name all three branches of the U.S. government: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A third (33%) are unable to correctly name any of the branches.
    • Among those who felt they understood the purpose and role of the three branches of government either very or somewhat well, only 50% could name all three.
  • On presidential veto powers, barely half of Americans (51%) know that a two-thirds majority vote by Congress is needed to overturn a presidential veto.
  • 91% of Americans know that the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. However:
    • Only 37% know that a citizen cannot appeal a Supreme Court decision to the Federal Court of Appeals.
    • 62% of Americans know that the U.S. Supreme Court carries the responsibility for determining the constitutionality of a law.
  • Over the years there have been many 5-4 Supreme Court decisions, but fewer than half of Americans (48%) know that such decisions have the same effect as 9-0 ones.
  • 54% are aware that Supreme Court justices usually announce their decisions in writing.
  • Even after taking the effects of level of education into account, our analysis shows that taking a civics or government course in high school or college predicts civics knowledge.

"Since knowing how democracy works predicts civic participation and support for protecting our system of government, these results are worrisome,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). “The nation should be troubled by the extent to which civic education is downplayed in its schools.” 

Sounds as though Kathleen Hall Jamieson is concerned. And she should be. We all should be! On a very basic level... how can Americans claimutilize and/or defend their rights as American citizens if they don't know their rights? How much time is put into teaching the youth of our nation the facts concerning the times of and the drafting of The U.S. Constitution? How many missed yesterday being Constitution Day? How much personal study does American adults put into understanding their rights as responsible citizens? Apparently not enough! But our education system is failing us also in that our young minds are not being educated as well as the youth of other nations as seen in this msnbc.com report last December. Personally I first  learned anything of substance about the U.S. Constitution in high school but only the basics were covered. Classes on government were required in Michigan for my generation in the 70's but maybe all that there really is time for is the basics in a one semester class. My daughters just informed me a government class is not required to graduate in the state of Tennessee. What I know about the Constitution I've done what I've had to do to learn on any subject I desired knowledge of. I had to study it myself. 


Likewise, God's people have rights as well. Political rights? No... not while we're in this realm! Our rights as sons and daughters of God in this day and time, this period of time known as the "Grace Administration" in the Scriptures, are spiritual rights given to us at the moment of our new birth. As in the lack of education causing many Americans to be rather ignorant of the document that establishes our liberties, it is ignorance in the mind's of God's people that keep them from claiming, utilizing and/or defending their "sonship rights". There's five of them. Do you know what they are? Do you know how to use them in your spiritual walk through this life as a child of God? The instructions (found in God's Word) have been given. Not easy to ascertain from the Scriptures but it is available to do just that. No... I doubt any of us will understand or even yet get it all but love (agape in the greek) covers all short comings in our lives. Including not rightly dividing His Word. At times. Not that that's an excuse for not trying(!)... but living this agape love is our trump card in all situations! And that agape love is not really fully understood as deeply as it could be without a knowledge of your spiritual rights, your sonship rights.

I speak of home based bible study to you from personal experience. I'd have to say at least 95% of my scriptural training was given and received in home based fellowships. The world wide ministry I was involved with for 20 years of my early adulthood was based on home fellowships. With mature and proper leadership home fellowships can be more than aspects of the stories of the New Testament. They do provide an atmosphere for learning and a wonderful experience and example of like minded disciples living in The Truth of what they learn from the scriptures bringing that agape love into manifestation in service to the gathering as well as outside the peaceable assembly in daily life... in godly habit patterns. Would you not agree the qualities learned from the Scriptures and lived in the lives of citizens that choose to do so could only build responsible, law abiding, tax paying citizens? 


Speaking of taxes, as far as any governmental interest in what goes on concerning religious practices in any American's home...  Is only allowed to be concerned with whether or not there's any commerce going on. I haven't seen any articles on these situations mentioning that. If they are accepting tithes or donations they are going to have to set-up these "churches" as a non-profit organization like the rest of government recognized religions. Should government be involved if no money is involved? And... (this I really don't know) If it's on private, non business zoned property does a certain number of visitors require permits? Any of these stories coming to light over the last few years that don't get resolved may very well wind up in a state Supreme Court if not the U.S. Supreme Court. I truly don't think it should get that far as these local ordinances are in contradiction to the federal guarantee to "...  make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech...; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble."

I posted a question concerning this issue on Sodahead.com that generated quite a bit of interest and can be seen here. What do you think? Should fines be paid until/if the local laws get changed? Should it go to court? Should home based Bible studies be government approved?

Recommended Video 49:00  




Related Links
Constitution Day     A Child's Rights    Separation Of Church And State
Home: No Place For Bible Study    Wake-up call': U.S. Students Trail Global Leaders
The Hollering Stump: Agape. Such A Love As This!     In God We Trust
City demands Christians get permit for Bible study
How Well Do Americans Understand the Constitution?
Should Home Based Bible Studies Be Government Approved? - Sodahead.com
Capistrano Couple in Legal Battle for Hosting Bible Study in Home


Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Is Remembered

All this talk recently leading up to today, the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on the people of the United States of America by  Islamic extremist terrorists got me to ponder a few things. Honestly?... I think it's gotten me down some! You can't help but feel at least a twinge of the pain upon recalling the travesty forced upon all civilized people... some more than others. "The Day The Eagle Cried." I realize we should never forget this event and that some of the programs and stories recently offered in all medias  during this pre-week of the anniversary do show some additional details and learning concerning that day. But as 9/11 is remembered I get the sense that there is so much attention being given to the terrorist attack angle of this tragedy it's bordering a celebrating of it. I see no need to celebrate our having overcome something so evil. So much so I considered I shouldn't even mention it in this week's post. But I thought I might share my refections on this and wonder... Does anyone perceive the same?

As one pauses and recollects one recalls, yes we took a hit. More like a sucker punch from behind and in the dark. Looking back we should have taken the hatred towards us from Islamic extremist groups more seriously. It was a different time then. It may have dazed us but it was for a relatively very short time. America can be proud of all it's citizens that were involved in everything pertaining to this attack from the men on board United Flight 93 that attempted to retake the cockpit, the first responders that were there to assist at all three crash sites, the recovery crews, the citizens that gave blood, donated finances or supplies, the clean up teams, all those that have rebuilt the sites from the attacks, built the memorials and our tremendous military that took the fight to those involved in the planning and financing of the attack. Americans all over this land shared in the shock, pain, and sorrow of the victims' family and friends. Many Americans shared in the planning and labor towards the restorations and memorials and in the war that has been going on for 10 years as of today. In New York City what used to be known as "ground zero" is now being referred to as The 9/11 Memorial where many of the victims' families are gathered today for the dedication of it. That was absolutely the right thing to do to give the victims' families this day to be the first to visit it. 9/11 is remembered.

That being said, I really wish so much attention wouldn't have been given to the actual attack this week. Unless you're younger than 16 you  might not've felt the impact of the hatred expressed to us but we've all seen the horrific footage. Why can't more attention be given to how surviving victims have endured along with how we've all reacted, how we have overcome the physical and psychological attack on us as a people. There must be thousands of stories of support given to the victim's families, how neighbors consoled and encouraged each other, stories of heroism we've never heard across this land among the civilians and on the war fronts among the military, of examples of the love and unity we express when we are truly united. Stories such as what this post's recommended video below shows in "Brian's Story". Stories that 9/11 is remembered but also shows the triumphant, American spirit that has been shown since this cowardly attack was directed towards our citizens, on our homeland. Well maybe we don't need that many stories. Maybe we don't need those stories because we lived it. And it hurts to remember. Never the less... 9/11 is remembered.

From FBI's Most Wanted Site
All we have for set precedent on how to handle something like this in comparison is the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. That generation didn't make such a show of it. They handled the situation and moved on. So much so I'd be willing to bet most Americans of my generation and younger don't even know what month... let alone what year or date that attack occurred. Yes it should be remembered. Both historical events must be remembered in the minds of not only Americans but to the rest of the world. To Americans, it shows that differing generations can take the best hit thrown against it and recover to the point of administering justice. To the rest of the world it shows that although we as a nation may be divided politically, you mess with us?... We will hunt you down! I feel way too much attention is given to the attacks themselves on 9/11/2001. Our enemies (in their warped way of thinking sure) can very well take this as a victory. I feel there hasn't been as much shown in the media on the American spirit's resolve and defiance to be pushed in the direction the terrorists desired. For us to cave in to the fear they were attempting to ensnare us in. Not only did we not cave but 10 years later we have had justice dealt out and have brought restoration to the crash sites. There is nothing to replace the people lost in the attacks or the causalities of the cleanup or the war. There is nothing to fill the void in the hearts of those families affected. To those families...  if I may... You will always have your country's sympathy for your loss and admiration of your endeavour to overcome the pain inflicted on you. 9/11 is remembered.

There are... seemingly of course, many unanswered details that have not been answered or answers that don't add up to the facts. I've seen a lot of conspiracy theories on these attacks many of which seem to be originated outside the U.S. (one example here) and don't hold much of anything other than speculation in my opinion. But one aspect of the wreckage field in Shanksville, PA really doesn't add up. It's been proven the men on board as passengers were not afraid to and did take on the terrorists to keep the murderers from completing their mission, but there's been no proof they actually regained the cockpit. There was an F-16 in the area. Is it possible... that about 10 minutes from D.C. at its current speed... it was shot down? How did United Flight 93 crash? We've been told the plane came straight down which is how an aircraft falls when missing the tail section as substantiated by a pilot (unarmed and thinking she was going to have to crash into it to bring it down) that was en route to intercept Flight 93 when it crashed. The order had been given to shoot down any hijacked airliners. And if full disclosure hasn't been made about this situation, how about the mystery of Flight 587 2 months later? Regardless of whether we ever get all the facts... 9/11 is remembered.

Another thought. We as a nation today a decade later are divided politically. Again. At this time a decade ago for a couple of years we were the most united and proud to be Americans we had been in a long time. Well... every one except for Michelle I guess. The split began with the 2004  election campaign when liberals wanting to separate themselves from conservatives started back tracking ("flip flopping", what ever!) on their votes for taking the fight to the enemy. Why does it take such a tragic event for us to be united?! Why does desire for power and/or material gain separate us?! At least today there doesn't seem to be much squabbling. 9/11 is remembered.

The One World Trade Center; Dawn, 9/10/2011
I have watched the dedication ceremony of the NYC 9/11 Memorial this morning and thought it was beautiful. As is the Memorial which opens to the general public tomorrow. I also looked around on the web a bit and read a few stories this morning. Interestingly I've seen I'm not the only one that feels this sense of the media "celebration" of a terrorist attack on our country as distasteful as this was expressed  in many comment sections of the stories observed. I've seen it also communicated among a few of my Facebook friends. I've also seen how this continual coverage of the attack could've very well been driven by greed by one aspect of our culture. We all know so many big medias use emotional stories such as this to improve their ratings. To boost their advertising rates. To boost their own egos. But The United States of America has restored the crash sites, the memorials are in place, the perpetrators dealt with although some loose ends do remain (such as foreign aid to Pakistan, our military out of the Middle East to name a couple) and we will not forget. The men responsible have been either captured or killed. It profits us nothing to keep picking at the scars of this attack on our nation. Yes we should remember. Perhaps more so as in the words of a friend of mine, "Sometimes the best thing to do is to remember and honor quietly." After all... we... as a nation have overcome this evil expression of hatred towards us and will continue to do so. We need not give our enemies any impression or the satisfaction of thinking we dwell on the reruns of their dastardly deeds towards us. Fact is... we took that blow, they got our attention. Ya think maybe they underestimated us? 9/11 is remembered.

9/11 Memorial NYC
Flight 93 Memorial Shanksville, PA
Pentagon Memorial Arlington, VA
Recommend Video

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day USA 2011

As American holidays go?... Labor Day has a uniqueness all its own. Not as American as Americans may think. Known as "May Day" in socialist and communist countries, this observance of man's works is quite popular among mostly Caucasian populated nations through out eastern Europe. Termed May Day in Europe, Labour Day in Canada. A recognition and celebration of man's accomplishments. Of what the hands of men and women have built and done individually and as a team, union or nation. Labor Day USA 2011. The 129th time Americans have a patting of ourselves on the back for what we would'a done anyways! Considering of course in this day and time... if ya've got a job!









Labor Day... most have believed and some records do show, was initiated in the United States in 1882 by Peter J. McGuire. At the time the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as well as a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor proposed to commemorate those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." Others believe the holiday was originated in 1882 from Matthew Maguire who was the secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is known for sure is the Central Labor Union adopted a proposal for the holiday and appointed a committee to plan the very first Labor day on September 5, 1882 consisting of a picnic/demonstration, Peter J. McGuire being the key note speaker. The Central Labor Union held the next Labor Day the following year  and in 1884 moved the day of observation to the first Monday of September and began the push to other unions to adapt their idea of a "workingmen's holiday." As the union movement spread so did the holiday. The first state to offer legislation to mark this observance may have been New York but Oregon was the first to pass a bill commemorating Labor Day as a state holiday on February 21, 1887. That same year 4 other states, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York also passed legislation to mark the day. By 1894 27 other states adopted the holiday. On June 28th of that year The U.S. Congress passed a proposal marking Labor Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the first Monday of September. Two of the reasons for the selection of this day is so that it is not confused with communism's "May Day" (May 1st) and it gives Americans a holiday between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.


Labor Day in our culture today gives some of America's employed a paid day off to mark the end of summer. Or at least it used to mark the end of summer. My generation grew up looking at Labor Day as the last summer holiday before school began. Tourism kept going until the first of September. Mute today across much of America as most school districts now open for students as early as the first week of August as in East Tennessee. Beginning as the teacher union's push to open school the week before the holiday to benefit its members. Not really a fair trade-off from where I sit. Teachers and administrators may get the day off paid but how much has it hurt the areas depending on tourism? An example of "... working upon the prejudices of the people..." Have schools across America shown what should have been expected with more learning time? Smarter students? It really doesn't look so!


Our neighbors to the north also celebrate "Labour Day" (their spelling) on the same day as the U.S. And as in the U.S. Canadians appreciate worker solidarity. Maybe more so as unions were illegal there until 1872. A few businesses such as medical clinics, restaurants, some stores and tourist attractions do remain open. Schools in Canada still open for the academic year after the holiday. In Europe, Labor Day is referred to as "May Day" or "International Workers Day" which celebrates labor unions' achievements, especially in getting the work day reduced to 8 hours. Something the Canadians and Americans also recognize.


This year? With unemployment reportedly still above 9% across the states and absolutely no job growth for the month of August I don't see much for celebrating. Productivity declined 0.7% in the second quarter of this year in the nonfarm business sector and unit labor costs increased 3.3%. In manufacturing, productivity slipped 1.5% and labor costs rose 4.6%. Not that much is being manufactured around here anymore. When was the last time you noticed some non grocery item that was produced right here in America? American business is so busy chasing its tail trying to feed its addiction to profit the American working middle class is getting lost in the dust. It's a vicious cycle. People go into business or employment to make money. America used to and probably still does in most cases produce the best stuff. But because business in all categories couldn't/wouldn't treat its workforce properly, labor organized in all these categories demanding less hours in the work day, more pay and benefits which I believe aided us in keeping our humanity. But that and raising the minimum wage (the thinking being that this will bring more prosperity to the lower class... but it really doesn't. Minimum wage is hindering to the free market process and should be done away with) brings additional cost to producing stuff. These costs are added to the product which makes it much more expensive to buy. Even though everybody knows nobody wants to spend more than they have to for anything, the stuff America's manufactures/sells/ships cost more than what competing countries with lower wages/no benefits. (A major reason for American manufacturing to set up plants in other countries. Greed only knows profit, not patriotism! Kudos to GM for building the new sub-compact Sonic in the Detroit area!) Therefore, American made products don't move. If product doesn't move, the business isn't making money and forced to make cuts eventually to lay-offs.  A major reason why China's economy has been growing stronger and ours has been weakening. China has developed a working middle class while ours... well... ours is startin' ta suck air!


Look. Our unemployment rate is 9.1% as of the reports that came out for August, right? That is according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics use of the U-3 measure of labor underutilization which is percentage of the total civilian labor force and considered the official unemployment rate. The U-6 measure is considered more broader in that it measures the total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force. Arguably... a more accurate feel for the real stats. The "real" stats for August 2011 U.S. unemployed?  16.2%. SIXTEEN POINT TWO PERCENT!!! And forecasted by some experts to accelerate before it turns around.


"Take a look at the above chart.  For the first 8 months of the year (2008) 655,000 jobs were lost.  In the last 3 months alone over 1.2 million jobs have been lost.  This is usually what happens with recessions. Even if you take a look at the mild recession in 2001 you will see how many consecutive months we had job losses and how quickly they escalated and stayed high." - from mybudget360.com


Greed is getting a stranglehold on our nation. America has become a melting pot of another kind. The corporate world's unquenchable appetite for profit, the labor unions' drive for fairness on their own terms whether it's fair or not, politicians and special interests trying to control what they can't and actually hinder true progress by being involved at all mixed in with the petty ego's that is in every crowd being more concerned about how other's perceive them and personal gain with no thought of realistic future consequences of their present day actions and you have where we are today. A lot of confusion, some desperation, little confidence, not united. All the effect of years of no true leadership. A manifestation of our predicament today because of the ignoring of Abraham Lincoln's warning when he said... 


It's the working middle class that's the strength of any nation. It's the middle class that suffers during economic tailspins. And the American middle class is suffering. Losing income and health benefits puts American families behind the 8 ball and a major contributor to the increased divorce rate. And regardless of what comes out of Washington, the recession hasn't been and isn't over. Just this last July there was 1,579 mass lay-offs (affecting 50+ workers) involving 145,000 individuals. Up 3% from the previous month. Average American wages have not increased much at all since 1917 as seen in the graph below but the richest Americans have seen a healthy surge in their incomes. Another fact showing Lincoln's vision is coming to pass and that greed is choking this nation. It is greed that has taxed and pushed American manufacturing jobs to other countries. It is greed that has allowed illegal immigration to flourish and have it's damaging impact on the American economy. It is greed that's causing us to be so short with others in traffic! On another note... Is it really surprising to learn recessions have a greater impact on suicide rates among working age individuals? Regardless of what some Wall Street movie says, greed in not good. The greedy won't see it. The poor blinded bastards just can't! But the rest of us sure do!


Regardless of the facts, things will go along as they have been. Speeches will be given Monday. By union officials, manufacturers, industrialists and let's not forget... politicians. They'll be paid days off, picnics, parades, family get-togethers, the start or end of a vacation week and long weekend get-aways for many. For those that have benefits and can afford it. Too many, they will have the day off, no pay, hanging around the house because they can't afford to do anything or it will be just another work day. What happens after Labor Day? Another day dawns... Another baker punches in, another roofer arrives on the job site, another waitress pours another cup of coffee. And hundreds of thousands of America's unemployed wakes up to another day of desperation... a rising percentage of which having given up on finding a job forced to accepting assistance which in turn puts more of a drag on the economy... on us all.


As individuals, I do pray you have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend. As a nation... I see nothing to celebrate this Labor Day. Hmm... that makes me wonder... isn't that part of the problem? Have we become  so focused on our individuality that we are losing the national unity mindset as a country? Why does it take a travesty such as an attack on our nation for Americans across all wakes of life to become a proud, united country? Have we allowed greed to so flourish in our minds that we stand at the dusk of The United States of America's super power status? We are lacking true leadership to be sure, but that's our fault. We all have a job to do to fix this now. If you're unemployed do what it takes to secure a wage. Take what you can for work, if you're not satisfied with you have presently you keep looking, find a way to get training or retrained. Figure it out and start your own service. Take it on! Be a patriot and be responsible for yourself! And! Pay attention to the political scene. Get your mind involved now. Be informed, vote logically November 2012. Responsibly. Not just to make yourself feel good. Sure... this is America. You do have the right to wallow in your own greed, keep your head stuck in the sand and not get involved for your own lazy, selfish reasons and watch as a spectator as your nation loses it's grip or you can stand up and be heard! Have ya had enough yet?! Or have you just given up? Is America still becoming The United States it was designed to be or has it peaked already? Can we plllleeeease have something to actually celebrate in regards to the American worker next Labor Day?!


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Related Links
Labor Day
The History of Labor Day - U.S. Dept. of Labor
The History of May Day - marxists.org
International Comparison of Math, Reading and Science Skills Among 15-year-olds
10 Reasons why This Recession will feel like a Minor Depression
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Formerly Middle Class
Middle Class in Turmoil