Pope Francis Criticizes Capitalism

“Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.”

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After Baltimore: Soul Searching in Another America

Reblogged from The Secular Jurist:

By Richard Eskow

[…]

You won’t see structural violence on the television news, because it isn’t the stuff of headlines. Johan Galtung, the Norwegian sociologist and mathematician who invented the field of conflict resolution, explained why in a 1969 paper:

“Personal violence represents change and dynamism – not only ripples on waves, but waves on otherwise tranquil waters. Structural violence is silent, it does not show – it is essentially static, it is the tranquil waters.”

When he spoke of Baltimore the other day, President Obama predicted that “we’ll go through the same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities and the occasional riots in the streets. And everybody will feign concern until it goes away and then we go about our business as usual.”

He is almost certainly right. But the president did not offer a clear vision for ending the structural failures that have generated this cycle of conflict. That vision is urgently needed. The time for soul searching is now.

The curfew has been lifted in Baltimore. But the poverty remains, and so does the death and injury it brings. The waters are tranquil tonight. But across the many Americas, our common future is hidden in shadows.

http://ourfuture.org/20150504/baltimore-soul-searching-in-another-america

Conservative Media Still Denying How Racism And History Fueled Ferguson

Despite the conservative media narrative that racism against minorities is a thing of the past, race, racism, and inherent biases on all sides are a part of what’s happening in Ferguson and communities across America — as are systemic and institutional factors spanning several generations, from the Watts riots in 1965 to the riots in various cities in 1967 and ’68, to Los Angeles in 1992. While an inciting incident — usually involving the police and communities of color — sparked the violence, a tinderbox of underlying frustrations awaited that spark.

After each of these incidents, reports issued by government commissions seeking answers cited hauntingly identical findings. Police brutality, poor relations between the police and the community, a sense of hopelessness fueled by a lack of jobs, economic inequality, inadequate schools, discriminatory housing practices, an unresponsive political system many felt shut out of, along with policies that created segregated neighborhoods which further isolate communities of color were highlighted again and again. Again and again the recommendations included expanding community policing strategies and social programs, making them more consistent with the extent of the problems.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/12/03/conservative-media-still-denying-how-racism-and/201751

Recession linked to more than 10,000 suicides in North America, Europe

The Secular Jurist

(HealthDay News) — The Great Recession that began in 2007 appears to have taken more than a financial toll: New research suggests that the economic downturn could be linked with more than 10,000 suicides across North America and Europe.

The study found that between 2008 and 2010, rates of suicide surged in the European Union, Canada and the United States. The increase was four times higher among men than women, according to the report published in the current issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/recession-linked-to-more-than-10000-suicides-in-north-america-europe-1

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  The blood from these deaths stains the hands of Wall Street, the international banking cartel, the political leaders who enabled it , their loyal rank & file members, all the voters who supported them, and all the non-voters who chose not to participate in democracy.

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Fixing America’s problems, and the ‘Drunk in the Library’

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

This week, Bill Moyers concluded his interview with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who said America’s worsening income inequality can be fixed through tax reform.  The underlying problem is a political one which both created the rise in inequality and stands as an obstacle to remedial solutions.  As he stated:

It’s amazing. And Americans have not yet grasped the reality of where we are. That our economic system has not been delivering for most Americans. And the fact that this has been true and that we have no longer a country where there’s opportunity, where the life prospects of a young person are so dependent on the income and education of his parents means that our view of the way our economic system works has to change.

My view is that these are not inevitable. These are not just the result of the laws of economics. You…

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