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Archive for March 2011

Homelessness, Hunger, Poverty, and Politics

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In April of 2011, I was preparing to embark on a bicycle journey to increase my own awareness on a topic that I was not so familiar with.  The social issue that I chose to explore was homelessness.  As I searched around the internet I stumbled across something that hit home.  There is a large number of veterans that are sleeping on our nations streets.  Having retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 26 years of service I found myself wondering how veterans could ever become homeless. I discover my own naivety.

During my service in the U.S. Coast Guard we were trained on the usual social issues of our times: human diversity, civil rights, and sexual harassment to name just a few.  This caused me to begin my research of homeless veterans and was eventually extended to the sum of all homelessness in America.  Once again, my naivety was exposed.  I had no idea what caused homelessness.  Was it our nations economy?

What are the signs of a weakening economy? While I agree with the article linked below it fails to identify the real “values”.  This is not an unusual circumstance in our country these days.  I believe that most economists do not consider homelessness, hunger, poverty, and politics (HHPP) as an early warning sign of a declining economy.  Our economists focus on certain reports issued by our government, which focuses primarily on the numbers, but ignores the economic impact of HHPP.   It’s like knowing that oil reserves are drying up and nobody is raising the prices.   I believe these are early signs for any countries economic condition.  Even our ecological condition does not find itself part of the our economic condition.  What is the sustainability?  The basic necessities to sustain life are: A healthy environment, adequate shelter, clean water, food, clean air, an adequate healthcare system, a fare and adequate income, and worldwide peace. Removing any of these basic necessities threatens all life on our planet. If we fail to plan for our future someone will have a plan for us.  This means we will experience an even greater reduction of our natural resources.  It is obvious that when it comes to protecting our environment  or ensuring that our economy is healthy you can bet the economy will come first; however, I still hope for the day that our environmental condition along with all issues that plague our society will be combined, and that combination shall become the measurement of our real economic and ecological condition.

To learn more about homelessness I did some very simple research that revealed some shocking estimates:

  • An estimated 1.5 million Americans are homeless (National Alliance to End Homelessness).
  • An estimated 200,000 veterans are homeless during any given night (Department of Homeless Affairs). The department has implement a national call center for homeless vets: 877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838) which enables vets to call for themselves or citizens may call for someone else. The service is free and confidential, manned by trained VA counselors to assist, available 24 hours/7 days a week.  The department also provides information about VA homeless programs and mental health services in your area that can help.  For Homeless Vets call: 877.424.3838
  • There is some controversy regarding the average age of a homeless person.  We need to know more!
    To Be Young (Like 9, on Average?) and Homeless (New York Times).
  • Links to individual efforts: MAM Productions
  • My Homeless Playlist– Listen close to the comments made by Bill O’Reilly.  He is one of the reasons I do not watch FOX News.

We are supposed to learn from history.  The truth is that wars have produced homeless people throughout the history of wars.  It is my opinion that before we enter into war we should have the ability to provide reasonable care (including homelessness) to our veterans and all human beings who are experiencing homelessness in America.

Get thinking!
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Email: jamespond.usa@gmail.com
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YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/user/jamesjpond
Ending EnviroIgnorance: http://enviroignorance.blogspot.com
My Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamesjpond

Your Opinion Makes A Difference!

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Written by James J. Pond

March 27, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Restore Democracy Now!

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“The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one”.
-Adolph Hitler

The world is rapidly changing before our eyes.  While we stare at our televisions watching  people stand up for their liberties- Americans seem to be content relaxing on  their sofas.  The “System” is flawed at a much deeper level, not JUST at the political level but way down at the level of physical reality. (Neo-)Classical economics teaches that infinite growth on a FINITE planet is possible. Reality check! The earth has only a finite volume and finite quantities of non-renewable resources like oil or coal. The Peak Oil hypothesis takes the finite volume of the earth into consideration: as cheap, easy to extract oil depletes, drillers will be forced to go deeper, drill in dangerous places (seafloor) or use low grade resources (Alberta oilsands: mixed with sand). Price per bbl will necessarily rise and eventually when new oil costs about $90 – 100 per bbl our growth addicted economy- founded on cheap, high volume oil production – will asphyxiate. This seems to be happening now. [CLICK HERE]

There is statistical evidence that the subprime mortgage collapse – Autumn 2008 – was triggered by rising oil prices in the spring and summer of that year. Young yuppies who were bad risks were enticed by subprime mortgages scammers into the exurbs where they communted, say, 100 miles per day to work.  As oil prices rose to about $150 per bbl in midsummer, 2008 they found that the “good life” left no room for the SUV and the daily commute. They defaulted on their mortgage payments, triggering the early deflation of the construction bubble. Once “bubbles” are pricked like this they pop which happened in the fall. The construction bubble burst and rapidly spread throughout the financial sector at large because of contamination by “toxic assets” based on unsafe subprime mortgages. Because of globalization – TOO MUCH INTERCONNECTEDNESS / NOT ENOUGH “MODULARITY” – the financial sector imploded GLOBALLY (what your mother DIDN’T tell you about globalization!). Finanally, the financial / investment sector took down the “real economy” of commodities, goods and services (those actually produced, traded and consumed by real people). Like a house of cards falling – pull out a card at the bottom and the whole structure falls.. But the original cause – or, rather, ONE MAJOR cause- was the summertime spike in oil prices due to an increasingly “tight” oil supply. The tight supply was itself due to the depletion of cheap, easy to extract and refine oil reserves. This view of the recession – founded on the Peak Oil hypothesis – seems to be gainging ground of late..
[CLICK HERE]

Meanwhile, Corporations have managed to become more and more powerful.  Since the midterm election of November 2010 voters have witnessed the great threat corporate power has over our election process.  The long arms of corporations are very capable of feeding a variety of organizations that including a radical Tea Party.  Americans  are increasingly becoming more conscious, yet there their is a percentage of people who also feel helpless against these organizations.[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Americans are slowly waking up and understanding that the two party system is failing. Our government is failing because our three branches of government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) are incapable of ensuring the integrity of our U.S. Constitution.  We are a allowing this great atrocity to occur because we are not satisfying our own responsibilities to govern.

What is being discussed here has nothing to do with your individual vote.  Nobody even needs to know the political party you may support!  The message that I’m communicating challenges every American to know that corporations are spending millions of dollars on deceitful campaign strategies.  These strategies are designed to confuse voters. Meanwhile, corporate campaign contributions install candidates into office, creating an atmosphere that supports  unethical lobbying practices; which in turn, poisons our Democracy and ensures campaign promises cannot be achieved.

How do we restore our democracy?  In my opinion, there are a few things we can do.  First, we should redefine what a corporation is and reduce how much influence it has on democracy.  Corporations are not people, they don’t care about people, and they are required by law to produce profits at whatever cost.  Real human beings have compassion for human life, and our environment.  If we continue to allow corporations to be defined as a person we will exhaust our natural resources to the point that future generations will never experience a reasonable quality of life.

Ideas for Change:

1. Change the law.  Corporations are not people and they should not have the same rights as you and I!
2. The two-party system is failing.  Both parties can be manipulated easily by big money (Corporations).  Charters are much better than Corporations.  That’s exactly how our forefathers ensured that corporations did not get to big for their britches.
3. Ending EnviroIgnorance: My Free Speech & Democracy Playlist
4. Ending EnviroIgnorance: Click on “What is Proportional Representation”.
5. We need four our more parties in congress.  In my humble opinion we should have proportional representation.
6. Support local businesses and refuse to support unethical corporate business.  Local small businesses often support their local community.
7. Send me an email to jamespond.usa@gmail.com and share your ideas to improve government, our environment, and help ensure that future generations will enjoy a reasonable quality of life.

James J. Pond

Get thinking!
Get talking!
Get engaged!
Share Your Opinion!
Make A Difference!

EMail: jamespond.usa@gmail.com
Facebook Me: http://facebook.com/jamesjpond
YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/user/jamesjpond
Ending EnviroIgnorance: http://enviroignorance.blogspot.com
My Twitter: http://twitter.com/jamesjpond

Your Opinion Makes A Difference!

Written by James J. Pond

March 26, 2011 at 7:48 AM