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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Scythians - Chuck Missler

Meteor causes loud boom and shake in California, Nevada, and Oregon Sunday morning

(TheWeatherSpace.com) - Switchboards lit up on Sunday morning as people heard and felt something similar to a sonic boom. Agencies are confirming a possible meteor strike.

Residents surrounding Lake Tahoe, California, Nevada, and Oregon reported seeing a bright meteor streaking across the sky just before 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Some describe it as being so close to them, a blinding light.

"I was outside jogging and I saw what looked like a bright white light, almost like a nuclear bomb," said Kathy of Tulare, California. "It was as bright as the Sun. Afterwards there was a huge boom and shaking as I lost it behind the mountains."

Residents are also reporting of a physical impact and authorities are on the way to track down a possible meteor strike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

"This is amazing," said TheWeatherSpace.com Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin. "If this left a physical impact then you are looking at a once in a possible lifetime event in this area. Thankfully if it did hit the ground it was in the rural mountain zones and not over a major city."

USGS did not detect earthquakes in the area, but witnesses believe it hit somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Lyrid Meteor Shower was peaking around the time, a meteor shower from debris left over from Comet Thatcher.

Weather Space

US skies to be full of drones

Back in February, we wrote about a new bill passed by Congress that gave private, military and commercial drones more access to U.S. airspace. Now, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FAA has released a list of institutions that have asked for Certificates of Authorizations (COA) to fly drones in the United States.

That fact that the U.S. Air Force, DARPA and Department of Homeland Security are flying drones is no surprise. But what about the other institutions on the list?


U.S. Air Force
Arlington Police Department
U.S. Army
CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
City of Herington, Kansas
City of Houston, TX Police Department
City of North Little Rock, AR Police Department
Cornell University
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) / CBP (Customs and Border Protection)
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) / Science and Technology
DOE (Department of Energy) - Idaho National Laboratory
DOE (Department of Energy) - National Energy Technology Laboratory
Department of Agriculture - US Forest Service
Department of Agriculture - US Forest Service
Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service
Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service
Department of the Interior - National Business Center/Aviation Management Directorate (NBC/AMD) DOJ (Department of Justice) - Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff
Eastern Gateway Community College
FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Gadsden Police Department
Georgia Tech Police Department, Office of Emergency Preparedness
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Hays County Emergency Service Office
Kansas State University
Mesa County Sheriff's Office
Miami-Dade Police Department
Middle Tennessee State University
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Mississippi State University
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

U.S. Navy
New Mexico Tech
New Mexico State University Physical Sciences Laboratory (NMSU-PSL) Nicholls State University
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Ogden Police Department
Ohio University
Orange County Sheriff's Office
Otter Tail County
Polk County Sheriff's Office
Seattle Police Department
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University - TEES (Texas Engineering Experiment Station) Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas State University
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Arizona
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Michigan
University of North Dakota
University of Wisconsin
USMC (United States Marine Corps)
Utah State University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Washington State Department of Transportation

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/04/23/faa-reveals-list-of-colleges-and-police-departments-that-can-fly-drones/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+timeblogs%2Fnerd_world+%28TIME%3A+Techland%29#ixzz1stAuC3Kj

Transhumanism ‘inevitable’

Welcome to the posthuman world. Everyone is smart, tall, good looking, free from disease, and, some predict, will live forever.

The Rev. Mark Douglas, a Presbyterian minister, theologian, ethicist, and professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., said in a lecture in Sylvania that transhumanism is "inevitable," as long as humanity continues to exist. In extrapolating natural evolution as described by Darwin, and given enough time, the human race will undergo significant genetic and biological changes, he said.

According to this theory, evolution will lead to a long-term progression from humans to transhumans to posthumans -- "a hypothetical future being whose capabilities and features are so different from ours that the term 'human' would seemingly no longer apply," Mr. Douglas said in a lecture Monday night at Sylvania United Church of Christ, the fourth installment in the church's "Scientists in Congregations" series.

Mr. Douglas, in his talk titled "What does it mean to be a human person? What the Bible says and what modern biology and medicine tell us," crammed a semester's worth of college-level material into an hour lecture, reviewing a number of theories about the future of the human race, from scientific, theological, and ethical perspectives.

Natural evolution is one of four ways that the posthuman might emerge, Mr. Douglas said. The others are biologically through intentional genetic modification, mechanically via nanotechnological integration of robotic and artificial-intelligence systems, and coercively via cooperation by another species.

Of the four possibilities, he said, the least likely is coercive transhumanism, as the "you will be assimilated" threat made by the Borg in Star Trek.

Citing the vast distances between celestial bodies and, as far as is known, the lack of suitable interstellar propulsion, Mr. Douglas assured the audience of about 150, "You can go to bed at night not worrying about the Borg."

The other three possibilities, by contrast, are under way, albeit weakly, Mr. Douglas said.

Natural transhumanism is an extension of Darwinian evolution involving gradual changes over multiple generations resulting in a new species.

Each of the theories has its problems, however, and with natural transhumanism they include that 96 percent of species do not evolve but become extinct.

In addition, Mr. Douglas said, human beings, unlike other species, can avoid the need to adapt to their environment because they alone have the ability to change their surroundings.

Theologically, one can find support in the Bible for transhumanism, he said, citing Scriptures that describe a future change or transformation. For example, I John 3:2 states that we "will be like him, for we will see him as he is."

Process theologians such as Marjorie Suchoki assert that "humanity is always in a process of becoming," Mr. Douglas said, while 20th century French theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin espoused a cosmology that integrated Christianity and continual evolution.

But posthumanism in the Christian framework is unique in that it is advental, hinging on divine intervention rather than on a series of progressions.

Biological transhumanism involves the intentional modification of the human genome, not just to cure disease but also to enhance natural, desirable traits such as intelligence, height, and good looks, Mr. Douglas said.

Scientists are already experimenting with gene splicing in mice and other creatures, and rapid advances are under way in mapping the human genome.

But genetic modification raises a wide range of religious, ethical, and practical concerns, he said, from dealing with the complexities of genetics to questions on whether positive changes would be available only to the wealthy and how or where to draw the line when human beings "play God."

Mechanical transhumanism, as espoused by author and scientist Ray Kurzweil, integrates human minds with machines. Mr. Douglas said Mr. Kurzweil believes there are people alive today who will never die because they will be able to "download" their thoughts and memories to a machine.

The philosophical, ethical, and religious problems and questions raised by mechanical transhumanism are virtually endless, he pointed out.

In summarizing the theology of posthumanism, Mr. Douglas said Christianity is shaped by the belief that "God is doing something new to us, and that, therefore, we neither can nor need to transform ourselves."

Rather than naive optimism or nihilistic cynicism, Christians ought to practice "prophetic hope," he said.

"Believe in a better future because God is doing something."

Toledo Blade

hologram of liquidity

Vanderbilt Says Christian Club Can’t Require Leaders to be Devout Christians

Vanderbilt University has informed a small Christian student organization that it will no longer be recognized as a student group because it requires its members to have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, according to email correspondence provided to Fox News.

“It just shows how radical the Vanderbilt administration has become in enforcing a policy that is nonsense,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. “A lot of jaws dropped when we saw how far the Vanderbilt administration was taking this.”

Colby told Fox News the Christian group did not want to be identified because “they just don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of the culture wars.”

The group reached out to the Vandy chapter of the Christian Legal Society so others would know what had happened, Colby said.

“They are a small group of students who want to gather together and worship God,” she said. “That’s basically all they want to do.”

According to email correspondence from the university, the group’s constitution was not approved because the university took issue with a requirement that leaders have a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ.”

“Please change the following statement in your constitution,” a university official wrote to the group.

The original statement read: “Criteria for officer selection will include level and quality of past involvement, personal commitment to Jesus Christ, commitment to the organization, and demonstrated leadership ability.”

The university directed the group to change the statement to read: “Criteria for officer selection will include level and quality of past involvement, commitment to the organization, and demonstrated leadership ability.”

Ironically, Vanderbilt University was founded as a Methodist institution established for the purpose of practicing – among other things – theology.

University Provost Richard McCarty told The Tennessean that their policy “is about rejecting discrimination and not about restricting religious freedom.”

But isn’t that exactly what they’ve done to the small Christian group by telling them they can’t have leaders who have a commitment to Jesus Christ? Or for that matter, how is the university’s email not an intrusion into the freedom to practice religion?

The university released the following statement to Fox News in connection with the unnamed Christian club:

“We respect our students’ rights to hold and practice their religious beliefs. Our nondiscrimination policy does nothing to restrict those rights, nor does it limit these religious organizations’ ability to choose their own leaders. We require only that the groups be open to all Vanderbilt students and all members in good standing must be allowed to offer themselves for leadership. The groups themselves select their leaders. The policy allows leadership requirements such as length of membership, attendance, level of active participation and certain performance-based criteria, such as GPA for honor societies. Any groups whose leadership requirements don’t comply with our nondiscrimination policy are given the opportunity to revise and resubmit their application.”

Colby said the student group has decided not to comply with the university’s demands.

“They’re going to leave campus rather than take those five words out of their constitution,” Colby told Fox News.

Colby said it’s becoming clear that Vanderbilt University is specifically targeting Christian organizations.

“Any students have to be concerned about what an administration that’s being as radical as the Vanderbilt administration has been might do,” she said. “There’s a lot at stake for students when they stand up against their administration.”

This is just the latest in a string of controversies over Vanderbilt’s newly revised non-discrimination policy. At least 13 Christian groups have decided to defy the ban. Two groups, including Vanderbilt Catholic, have already announced plans to leave campus rather than conform to the university’s new policies.

The Tennessee Legislature is also jumping into the controversy. State Rep. Bill Dunn told Fox News it’s clear that Vanderbilt “has a policy that attacks religious organizations on campus.”

He drafted legislation threatening to block the policy because even though Vanderbilt is a private institution, it receives some public money.

“Some people have book sense and other people have common sense,” he said. “I think Vandy has gone with what the liberal elite would like to see and they aren’t using the common sense God has given them.”

Dunn’s drafted amendment would allow Vanderbilt to have an ‘all-comers’ policy, but it would have to be applied evenly to every student group – including fraternities and sororities.

The Tennessean reported that fraternities and sororities are exempted because of federal Title IX regulations that apply to gender issues.

“It shows the hypocrisy of Vanderbilt University,” Dunn said. “They know they can pick on Christian groups and it won’t affect their donors. But if they go after fraternities and sororities they realize it might hit them in the pocket book.”

Colby said it’s a very difficult time for Christians on campus.

“It makes me very sad,” she said. “We used to have religious liberty — where people understand that religious groups having their leaders agree with their faith was not only permissible and protected, it was common sense. And we’ve lost a lot of common sense in this country.”

Fox News

Students tear-gassed in clashes with police in Canada

Another treason to Israel is on the oven....

Secretary Clinton had to say that she believe a 7 years ago good will document.... how about  the Ahmadinejad declaration of sweeping Israel of the map...could that be true also?

Another treason from the government who has no friends but interests....
Praise for the Iranian negotiating team’s “achievements” at Istanbul along with a demand to end sanctions highlighted the sermon delivered on April 20 by the powerful provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who is also Chairman of the Guardian Council and Imam of Tehran.

Since the western side had officially accepted “Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear enrichment,” he said, the talks with the six world powers were a success for Iran. However, “if Western hostility continues by the stretch of sanctions and pressures, Iran will leave the negotiating table,” Ayatollah Jannati warned.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources say that Tehran is making no secret of its substantial gains on the diplomatic front or its tactics. The US framework proposals submitted in secret, direct talks with Iran, although not yet finalized, are being treated in Tehran as a done deal. Iran is therefore hailing US offers to acknowledge its right to enrich uranium and relieve Iran’s nuclear program of international inspection as concessions already in the bag. Sensing they are on a winning streak against the West, Tehran is now pushing for the lifting of Western sanctions, “to gain the trust of the Iranian people.”

European sources calculate that the Obama administration will soon decide to lift sanctions in stages.
The unfinished, unsigned US-Iranian deal is gaining traction as a done deal in America too.

Friday, April 20, the military historian Prof. Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, published an article under the heading “P5 plus 1 Ceding Red Lines in Iran Nuclear Talks.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Prof. Kagan did not seem to share the Obama administration’s confidence that Tehran would stand by any commitment to refrain from building a nuclear weapon, particulaly since it stands on shaky ground.

On April 3, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced after long conversations with Iranian and religious experts that she had been impressed by a seven-year old fatwa issued by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on May 10, 2005, which ruled the construction and possession of nuclear weapons a sin. The edict was forwarded to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna at the time.
This is what Secretary Clinton had to say, “And if it is indeed a statement of principle, of values, then it is a starting point for being operationalized, which means that it serves as the entryway into a negotiation as to how you demonstrate that it is indeed a sincere, authentic statement of conviction. So we will test that as well.”

No one asked her if Washington and the IAEA had found out whether the fatwa had been upheld in the seven years since it was issued, or why President Barack Obama had suddenly dredged the old edict up now as sufficient warranty for Tehran to stand by its commtments in return for the sweeping concessions it has won from Washington for its nuclear program.

Three Israeli researchers, Y. Carmon of MEMRI, Ayelet Savyon and former UN ambassador Dore Gold, reported Friday, April 20, that they had found no evidence of Khamenei ever issuing a fatwa banning the building and possession of a nuclear weapon under Islamic law.

Israel’s drive to stop a nuclear Iran as an existential threat is becoming a personal campaign against President Obama for letting go on agreed principles for the sake of what its leaders regard as a dangerous deal with Tehran.

In his public address on the eve of the Day of the Holocaust and Remembrance, Wednesday, April 18, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said bluntly: “I will not hold back from telling the truth [about the Iranian nuclear threat] at the UN, in Washington and in Jerusalem.”

But his words fell on deaf ears in Israel, where people have become inured to his highflown talk and by now wonder if it will ever lead to action.


Egypt Cancels Israel gas supply deal

Egyptian officials say they have scrapped an agreement to supply Israel with natural gas.

Israel received around 40% of its gas supplies from Egypt and uses it to generate electricity.

The announcement comes after the cross-border pipeline suffered numerous sabotage attacks which cut supplies.

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the move was of "great concern", and overshadowed peace agreements between the countries.

Egypt was the first Middle East country to sign a peace accord with Israel, in 1979, and the deal to supply energy has been a key part of agreements between the two states.

But the BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says the gas deal is deeply unpopular, and one of the charges against former President Mubarak is that he sold the gas too cheaply. Heavily criticised

Israel has insisted it is paying a fair price for the gas.

A statement from the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company said it was ending supplies because the terms of its contract had been breached.

Ampal, the Israeli company which buys the gas, said in a statement that it considers the attempt to terminate the contract "unlawful and in bad faith", and demanded its withdrawal.

The company is using international arbitration to try to get compensation, after supplies were interrupted following frequent sabotage attacks on the gas pipeline across the Sinai desert in north-eastern Egypt.

There have been 14 attacks since last year's uprising which unseated President Mubarak.

Unrest in the area has increased over the last year partly due to tensions with heavily-armed Bedouin tribes who live there.


Army chief: IDF prepared for Iran strike

IDF ready to attack Tehran’s nuclear facilities if needed, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz says; military constantly engaged in covert, high-risk operations beyond Israel’s borders, he says
Alex Fishman

Should Israel decide to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, the IDF will be prepared to carry out the mission, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told Yedioth Ahronoth in remarks published Sunday.

"In principle, we are ready to act," the army chief told the newspaper in a special interview ahead of Israel’s upcoming Independence Day.

In respect to the Iranian threat, 2012 will be a critical year, Gantz said, adding that "the State of Israel believes that nuclear arms in Iran’s possession are a very bad thing, which the world should stop and Israel should stop."

"We are preparing our plan accordingly," he said.

Israel is the only country in the world facing open destruction threats by another state, which is also producing the means to do carry them out, the army chief said. However, he noted, this does not mean that he will be ordering the army’s Air Force chief to strike Iran "now."

When asked whether Israel faces an existential threat at this time, Gantz said: "The potential exists. At this time, in my estimate, this is not the case."

‘Higher chance of war’
During the interview, Gantz also addressed special operations carried out by the IDF beyond Israel’s borders, revealing that the scope of such activities has increased significantly compared to the past.

"I don’t think you will find a point in time where something isn’t happening somewhere in the world," he said. "The level of risk has increased as well. This is not something invented by Benny Gantz. I’m not taking the credit here. I’m simply accelerating all those special operations."

Regarding the likelihood of a war breaking out this year, Gantz said: "Our intelligence assessment asserts that given the strategic reality and instability in the region, the chance of deteriorating to a war is higher than in the past. There are no indications of war, but the chances of the situation deteriorating into one are higher than in the past."

The army chief added that in case of a regional war, the IDF will be able to cope with the rocket threat from Lebanon and from the Gaza Strip.

"I can’t promise no missiles will be landing here. They will be falling; many of them. It won’t be a simple war, neither on the frontlines nor ion the home front,” he said. “However, I don’t advice anyone to test us on this front."

"When (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah comes out of his bunker, he’s concerned – and rightfully so. He saw what happened to Lebanon last time, and it won’t be close to what will happen to Lebanon next time," the army chief said. "I think they understand it well."


53 Percent Of All Young College Graduates In America Are Either Unemployed Or Underemployed

If you are in college right now, you will most likely either be unemployed or working a job that only requires a high school degree when you graduate.  The truth is that the U.S. economy is not coming anywhere close to producing enough jobs for the hordes of new college graduates that are entering the workforce every year.  In 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor's degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.  Millions upon millions of young college graduates feel like the system has totally failed them.  They worked hard in school all their lives, they went into huge amounts of debt in order to get the college education that they were told they "must have" in order to get a good job, but after graduation they found that there were only a handful of good jobs for the huge waves of college graduates that were entering the "real world".  All over America, college graduates can be found waiting tables, flipping burgers and working behind the register at retail stores.  Unfortunately, the employment picture in America is not going to get significantly better any time soon.
All over the United States, "middle class jobs" are being replaced by "low income jobs" and young college graduates are being hurt by this transition more than almost anyone else.  Massive numbers of young college graduates are now working jobs that do not even require a high school degree.  Some of the statistics about young college graduates are absolutely astounding.  The following is from a recent CNBC article....
In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).
Can you imagine working really hard all throughout high school and college and always getting good grades and then ending up as a bartender?
Sadly, many hard working college graduates cannot seem to find a decent job no matter how hard they try.  The following is one example from the CNBC article mentioned above....
"I don't even know what I'm looking for," says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.
Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever sent out resumes week after week, month after month, only to get absolutely nowhere?
Many recent college graduates are being advised by "career counselors" that they should go back and "get more education".
But is that really the answer?  The truth is that there are lots and lots of unemployed and underemployed Americans with advanced degrees too.  For example, a recent Business Insider article profiled a law school graduate named Erin that is actually on food stamps....
She remains on food stamps so her social life suffers. She can't afford a car, so she has to rely on the bus to get around Austin, Texas, where she lives. And currently unable to pay back her growing pile of law school debt, Gilmer says she wonders if she will ever be able to pay it back.
"That has been really hard for me," she says. "I have absolutely no credit anymore. I haven't been able to pay loans. It's scary, and it's a hard thing to think you’re a lawyer but you’re impoverished. People don’t understand that most lawyers actually aren’t making the big money."
But what "more education" will do is that it will get you into even more debt.  Student loan debt can be one of the cruelest forms of debt, because it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
As I wrote about a few days ago, total student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.  Students keep on racking up student loan debt in the hope that they will find "the American Dream" at the end of the rainbow.
Sadly, many students do everything "right" and still end up in the middle of a nightmare.
But it is not just young college graduates that are suffering in this economy.
As I wrote about a while back, the U.S. economy is not producing enough jobs for anyone at this point.
The mainstream media keeps telling us that unemployment is going down, but the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.
Does that sounds like improvement?
Of course not.
Unlike what we have seen after every other recession in the post-World War II era, the employment to population ratio is not bouncing back, and that is really bad news.
The main reason for this is because of the bad economy, but also it is important to understand that we are transitioning away from an "employment economy".
Today, most large corporations view employees as very expensive "liabilities".  The goal for most large corporations is to minimize those "liabilities" as much as possible.  In fact, these days some large corporations lay off huge numbers of workers even while they are making huge profits at the same time.
Once upon a time, Henry Ford made a conscious decision to pay his workers enough money so that they could afford to buy the cars that they were making.
Today, most corporations simply do not care about the living standards of their workers.  They simply want to maximize profits to the fullest extent possible.
Many small businesses would like to hire more workers, but the federal government has made hiring workers so complicated and so expensive that it has become exceedingly difficult to make a profit on a worker.  Most of the time it is simply easier to try to do more with what you already have.
The number of Americans that can work a job ("just over broke") and still live "the American Dream" is steadily shrinking.  Increasingly, the financial rewards in our economy are being funneled to the very top of organizations and workers are finding that their living standards continue to slowly go down.
At corporations that belong to the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, CEOs earn380 times what the average worker makes at those companies.  In 1980, CEOs only earned 42 times what the average worker made at those companies.
A fundamental shift is happening in our economy and it is not going to be reversed any time soon.  Workers are not valued at most companies anymore.  No matter how much of yourself you give to your company, when the day comes that you become "disposable", you will be cast aside as so much rubbish.
That is why I try to encourage people to start their own businesses and to be their own bosses.  There is no job security anymore.  The job that you have today could be gone tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the federal government is actually spending your money to train foreign workers to take our jobs.  The following is from a recent Daily Caller article....
While the president has been urging “insourcing,” the government has been sending money to the Philippines to train foreign workers for jobs in English-speaking call centers.
According to New York Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, this is unacceptable and “shocking.”
The pair are calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately suspend what is known as the Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) program.
Can you believe that?
Over and over again, our politicians talk about the need to keep jobs in the United States and then they go out and do things that have the exact opposite effect.
It is truly maddening.
So what are the hordes of American workers that cannot find jobs supposed to do?
Well, one thing we are definitely seeing is a huge rise in the number of Americans that are dependent on the government.
For example, at the end of the Reagan administration the ratio of workers on Social Security disability to active workers was about 2 percent.
Today, it is over 6 percent.
During the first four months of 2012 alone, 539,000 more Americans were added to the Social Security disability rolls and another 725,000 submitted new applications.
Another federal program that is experiencing explosive growth is food stamps.
Last year, one out of every seven Americans was on food stamps, and the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the number of people on food stamps will continue to grow through 2014.
It is so sad to see what is happening to America.  Our economy is being dismantled all around us and the future looks incredibly bleak.
Right now there are millions upon millions of Americans that are sitting at home wallowing in despair.  They don't understand why nobody will hire them and they are rapidly running out of options.
The following is a comment that a reader left on one of my recent articles about the middle class....
I cannot believe my present situation…
I worked hard in school and college so that I could escape the low income uneducated mess I grew up in.
I made all the correct decisions with my career, finances, etc. I cannot figure out how I got to where I am at now.
In late 2008 I was laid off in the IT field. I was a go-getter, and I didn’t let anyone tell me the economy would make it difficult to find a job. I had another within 4 weeks.
Was laid off from that job last year. I qualified for unemployment, but then my employer decides to bring a bunch of lawyers and fight my eligibility. After I won again, they appealed again. I finally couldn’t afford to keep paying attorney fees. I finally lost the appeal. I had to pay all that money back.
I’m still trying to find a job in my field. Being the go-getting I am, I immediately took a job waiting tables which amounted to a 75% pay-cut.
I had saved 6 months of expenses and that is completely dry. I have completely drained my retirement and savings. Still cannot find a livable wage job after almost a decade in my field.
Things are slowly going into default and it feels utterly hopeless and stressful. My pristine credit rating is gone, my savings and everything I worked for is gone. I haven’t missed a payment on my mortgage, but it is coming. I can’t cut anything more than I already have.
I just can’t figure out how this could have happened to me. I played by the rules and made all the right choices. I skipped vacations and time off to prove I was a good worker and had what it took to be a valuable employee.
I really am just at a loss at this point. I’m single and have no family. This is really make-or-break for me. I have no fallback plan. The feeling of failure is just gut-wrenching.
Please say a prayer for that reader and for all of the other hard working Americans out there that are desperate to find a job.
If you are at the end of your rope, please do not give up.  Even in the darkest moments, there is always a way to turn things around if you will just keep on fighting.
Sadly, way too many people are giving up on life because of the economy.  In Europe, economic conditions have deteriorated so badly that there has been a dramatic increase in suicides.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times....
The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”
When the next major economic downturn happens in the United States, we will probably see a similar thing happen here too.
But people need to realize that our lives are not about how much stuff we own.
Even if every single thing is taken away from you and you are left with nothing that does not mean that your life is over.
Even if you have not been able to find a job for years, that does not mean that you should give up.
In life, everyone gets knocked down.
But unless you are dead, there is always a way to get things turned around in a more positive direction.
One thing that I have learned in life is that you must never, ever, ever, ever give up.
The years ahead are going to be really hard for the global economy, but that doesn't mean that they have to be horrible years for you.
The years ahead can be the very best years of your entire life, but that will never happen if you decide to simply give up.
Economic Collapse

'Euro-dollar failing, BRICS seek more say in IMF'