Thursday, September 27, 2012

Racial, Socioeconomic Segregation Still Rampant in Schools

The impact and history of racial segregation in America is well documented. It has moved in theory from the 1896, the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case that determined that "separate but equal" was constitutional, to the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson and ruled that segregation was "inherently unequal." Although segregation is no longer the law, it is still a very real part of America, in particular in education where the Brown v. Board of Education decision was supposed to obviate such practices.

A new study based on a new analysis of Department of Education data shows that whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites and that black and Latino students tend to be in class rooms mostly with other black and Latinos. The report was authored by Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. Orefield suggest that “Extreme segregation is becoming more common” in America.

The reported noted that across the nation, 43 percent of Latinos and 38 percent of blacks attend schools where fewer than 10 percent of their classmates are white. , according to the report, released last, findings suggest that blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children. In fact, more than one in seven black and Latino students attend schools where fewer than 1 percent of their classmates are white based on enrollment data from 2009-2010.

States such as California, New York, Georgia and Texas, and cities including include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington demonstrated the most defined patters of racial segregation.

The report’s authors are critical of the Obama administration failure to pursue integration policies, and noted that the Administration’s support of charter schools was helping create “the most segregated sector of schools for black students.”

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recent Poverty Reports Indicates Economic Picture For African Americans Geting Worse.

Last week the US Census Bureau released its annual poverty report. The findings are startling and in many ways in contrast to what have been proffered by the Obama Administration as it pertains to economic improvement and growth in the US economy. The new figures show that things are getting worse for American families.

Findings indicate that those classified by the government as poor remained at record highs in 2011 while the gap between rich and poor increased. One in five American children was poor in 2011 and the poverty rate of young adults age 25-34 living with their parents, based on their own income alone, was 43.7 percent – a reduction of fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000. In addition, the median household income declined to $50,054 in 2011 -- a 1.5 percent decline from the previous year, not to mention that the median household income has now fallen for 4 years in a row.

These results are in concert with other studies. The National Employment Law Project recently reported that 58 percent of new jobs during the Great Recession were low-wage, paying between $7.69 and $13.83. Moreover, the Gini coefficient, which is how social scientist and economist measure the level of social inequality in a country, has grown at the fastest rate on records dating back to 1993. During 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

The same is consistent for older Americans.   In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. As of 2011, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Overall about 46.2 million Americans live below the official poverty line in 2011, the highest number in more than half a century. This is troubling given the government’s poverty threshold, set at an annual income of $23,021 for a family of four.

The Census data showed that median household income, adjusted for inflation, fell by 1.5 percent from the previous year. The figure was 8.1 percent lower than in 2007 and 8.9 percent lower than its peak in 1999. The income of the typical US family in 2011 fell for the fourth straight year and sank to levels last seen in 1995.

Some would ask how this is connected with the current administration. First, the wage-cutting initiated by the Obama administration, which imposed an across-the-board 50 percent cut in the wages of newly hired workers as part of its 2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, was a significant reason for the additional reduction in household income due to declining wages. Even with the aforementioned, the Obama administration has stated openly that the poverty rate remained unchanged from 2010 to hail the report as a vindication of its policies.

Given the new round of quantitative easing (QE3), it is clear that the Obama administration’s policy focus has been and remains to protect and increase the wealth of the US corporate elite at the expense of the majority of the population. There was no job growth from the first rounds of QE and another round just means banks will get more money while Wall Street suffers. The Administration states that GOP trickledown economics doesn’t work, yet implements QE which is trickledown economics.

The Census report notes the failure not just of one administration or any political party, but rather how politics is design to serve big corporations. Regardless who wins, one can expect the same - mass unemployment, wage-cutting, poverty and social inequality for most Americans, especially minorities.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Obama’s Neoliberalism Bites him in the Libyan Ass

As I write, this, I already anticipate a backlash from the mass of Obama felatio administrators within the African American community, but I know all too well as Huxley wrote, “facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored and that one cannot argue with an idiot for they will beat you down with experience and win every time.

The situation which the US find’s itself in Syria was all our doing and 99.9 percent of the blame can be placed at the feet of the current Administration, President Barack Obama in particular. For it is President Obama's incoherent and fatuous policy in Libya based on the use of force when he wants to when US national security is not even in jeopardy that got Ambassador Steven’s killed.

It all started last year. First when President Obama ignored the Constitution and decided without Congressional approval, albeit he didn’t agree with such when the same thing was done by former President George W. Bush just four years ago. In fact while a Senator Obama when being interviewed by the Boston Globe said: “The president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. History has shown us time and again…that military action is most successful when authorized and supported by the legislative branch.”

The fact is that this same man singlehandedly committed the US to war against Libya, ignoring that the US had neither been attacked by nor was in danger from Libya and had no constitutional reason for any military intervention at all. I repeat, the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

But it was clear that being a constitutional scholar, he was not concerned about this. In an address to the nation delivered from the National Defense University in March 2011, a day before the military effort against Gaddafi’s forces, the President spoke of US military action in Libya and indicated that NATO would be taking the lead from the US adding that Americas’ role in Libya would be to defend those under attack by Gadhafi’s forces. This he said although the U.S. runs NATO, finances 22 percent of NATO’s budget and is the nation that gives all the marching orders. In essence Obama unilaterally decided to invade a sovereign nation as Bush did before him. Strangely enough, based on his assertion that military action in Libya was in the vital interest of the US. This was his position albeit Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that the events in Libya were not in the “vital national interest to the United States.

Despite Obama’s incessant statements suggesting that the operation is only to protect civilians, the military intervention aid the rebel factions in their advance against the African leader. Although he will not admit to such, President Obama is interventionists who on the one hand stated he had no desire for US military intervention in Libya, noting that the US will not use military invention, yet imposed a no-fly zone which in fact is “direct military intervention.”

What the President called US “humanitarian intervention” directed at a nonexistent US aggressor, undermined the concept of collective security, international law and worse of all is arbitrary. Obama’s Libyan policy was historically the same as his predecessor and allowed him, on behalf of America, to exploit weaknesses and divisions in the nations they interfere with all Willy nilly.

His prose had continued to justify these actions. He said, “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” But words and fancy slogans do not make up for the observation that he had never considered the ramifications of such actions. The question remains Mr. President if this was an issue of US national security, did your actions in Libya make America safer?

Attacking Gaddafi got him lynched and one wonders if the administration ever asked or thought if this outcome would endear and make Libyan thankful for this? A nation which is already hated in which view America as constantly attacking Islam and taking their oil. Not to mention, was there any after thought that what has just occurred with the attack on the US mission, that killing or attacking Gaddafi’s without destroying his regime is just asking for increased terrorism against Americans? Or whether or not replacing him with insurgents who include other sponsors of terrorism, namely al Qaeda really a good idea?

This is the backward neoliberal foreign policy logic that Obama uses and was adopted and modified based on Bush’s neoconservative policy. We support dictator in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and say nothing, yet maintain a different standard for the same actions as it pertains to Libya and currently Syria.

Obama policy in Libya in concert with the senseless deaths of Libyan people is what created this opening for those who would love to nothing more than destroy America. The recent events even give more substance to the position of China and Russia regarding Libya then and Syria now which was: “If you try to impose anything on others, the result will be disastrous.”

 Obama’s foreign policy, for a man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is the antithesis to the concept of state sovereignty, for it appears that state sovereignty is only problematic to the US when it is applied to places like Libya or Syria. Notwithstanding nations who have had decades of general peace, which Obama policy has now replaced with war and violence and instability. The Obama Administration’s foreign policy is typical of US progressive Presidents who take any self-selected event or issue as a reason to self-invite the U.S. to enter conflicts it has no reason to join, especially if national security is the standard (Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt).

Obama said “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Are we different Mr. President? Again are we safer Mr. President? Aren’t the images of slaughter still occurring? or have you asked the mainstream media not to report on them?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DARPA: Pentagon Unveils Mule Drone That Can Track Its Prey

Jobs Report Isn’t Good News as Most Think

This past Friday, the August jobs report was released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the report, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent. Specific employment increases were in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.

Almost automatically, proponents of the Obama Administration as well as political pundits touted this as good news and as being proof of the effectiveness of the President’s economic policy. Unfortunately, few if any political talking heads discussed this in reference to the general citizenry of America or offer that the aforementioned may not be the case.

If one actually takes the time to read the report and do some basic math, they would clearly see that for the average American, the data does not provide such a rosy picture. First, is the obvious observation of that 119,000 fewer persons were employed in August compared to the month of July and that Manufacturing employment edged down in August (-15,000).

The reality is that around 89 million people in America are unemployed and the value of the dollar has started to retract if one pays any attention to the Forex markets. Moreover, Gold is up 3.1 percent and silver is up 7.1 percent when the administration and the Federal Reserve are thinking about another phase of quantitative easing (QE3).

Job loss will continue to be a problem for whoever is in the Whitehouse. In particular with the strange policies of the Federal reserve. Bernanke knew in 1988 that quantitative easing was ineffective work because bank lending channel typically close if banks have access to external sources of funding (other people money). Yet, Bernanke and the present administration continue to advocate that in order to revive economic growth and avert deflation, QE is a necessity.

The jobs reports show that QE only makes the rich richer. In fact the Fed has increased its balance sheet from $900 billion to $2.9 trillion the difference is $2 trillion (or 13% of GDP) while the job report shows that 58% of Jobs Created Pay Only $8 hour or less.

Now I know many will say I am just bashing Obama, that I am jealous of the President and that I just don't know what I'm talking about because the jobs report shows the President is doing a good job.  They may even say that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), as the Presidents often states supports his economic policies. Unfortunately, on the CBO's track record, I trust them as much as I do a white man with a sheet to have lighter fluid and a match at a BBQ. Let the CBO tell it, from their unrealistic view of this economy, America never goes into a recession. 

Currently, the CBO is assuming a deficit of $3.5 trillion from 2012-2021 and if past history is any indication, they are at least likely off by 60% meaning it is really close to $10 trillion. Recall that just ten years ago, the CBO predicted that the US deficit would be at $7.6 trillion currently, but the actual number as of this week is above the $16 trillion mark. Between 2002 and 2010 all of their real GDP projections were between 2.6% and 2.9%. By overestimating growth, you overestimate revenues, which underestimate the deficit and gives politicians the impression they have more of our money to spend before they get into trouble.

Last week at the DNC, Obama suggested that he would cut the deficit but strongly asserted he would use money saved from the wars to reduce the deficit, which is strange since that money doesn’t exist since the war is being paid for by borrowed money mainly from China. All of this seems to be ignored when discussing the economy and the jobs picture, but what can one expect, for only by American math can you have 119,000 Fewer Employed in August than July and unemployment rate go down.