Saturday, July 30, 2011


While the Wall Street bought Republicans and Democrats continue their Kabuki theater over the debt ceiling foolishness in Washington. Main Street continues to darken as over 25 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed or have dropped out of the labor force in a politically unacknowledged depression where one in 46 homes are in foreclosure: Allen L Roland

According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment and this fact is continually ignored by the Obama administration as well as Congress. On top of that, the housing market is still depressed after home prices began to tumble in 2007 and now over 11 million homes in American are vacant and one out of every 46 homes is in foreclosure.

As Paul Krugman, NY Times wrote on July 21 (The Lesser Depression) ~ The disappearance of unemployment from elite policy discourse and its replacement by deficit panic has been truly remarkable. It’s not a response to public opinion. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 53 percent of the public named the economy and jobs as the most important problem we face, while only 7 percent named the deficit. Nor is it a response to market pressure. Interest rates on U.S. debt remain near historic lows.”

And as Paul Craig Roberts writes: "The US economy is driven by consumer demand, but with 22.3% unemployment, stagnant and declining wages and salaries, and consumer debt burdens so high that consumers cannot borrow to spend, there is nothing to drive the economy.

This is the best graphic I've seen regarding unemployment in the United States ~ and this doesn’t even include the underemployed or those have dropped out of the labor force which would make it over 16% ~ or over 20% if you factor in youth who are unable to enter the workforce or those job holders who have taken early retirement. Watch this shocking 30 second geographic graphic of a recession becoming a depression ~ county by county from January 2007 to February 2011. Click here ~

Mind boggling isn’t it ~ when you graphically see where we REALLY are pursuant to unemployment. Let’s make it clear ~ we are not in a recovery ( as Ben Bernanke obliviously states ) or a “painfully slow“ recovery ( as President Obama often says ) Try telling that to the close to 100 million Americans who are effectively caught in poverty (using far more realistic measures than the government does) or the 6.5 million households with mortgages that are delinquent or in foreclosure ~ or the millions of Seniors whose monthly Social Security check has become their only means of economic survival.

Government figures show the economy grew at a weak pace of 1.3% in the second quarter and a revised 0.4% pace in the first quarter ~ confirming a stagnating recession which is rapidly becoming a depression. Economist Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Economics correctly said he thinks there’s a 40% chance the economy has already been in a major recession for the past four months ~ a fact the current administration still refuses to acknowledge with a national election fast approaching.

It appears the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, is still committed to bailing out Wall Street in a vain attempt to re-inflate the same credit/debt bubble that burst in 2008 ~ but most Americans have barely enough money to survive and are crushed with personal debt.

Sy Harding , StreetSmartPost, summed up yesterday how Washington still fiddles while the economy continues to burn ~ “While media focus has been almost entirely on the short-term debt ceiling foolishness in Washington, not much attention has been paid to the more serious worsening of the six-month recessionary trend in the economy…The consensus forecast of economists and the Fed was that under the influence of QE2 stimulus, growth would improve to 3.5% in the March quarter and for the rest of the year, with the economy’s underpinnings improving so it could stand on its own when QE2 expired in June. Instead, March quarter GDP growth declined to only 1.9%. Economists and the Fed were sure that was only temporary and left their forecasts for the June quarter and rest of the year at 3.2% growth. Continuing negative economic reports in May and June forced them to scramble to lower their June quarter growth forecasts dramatically, to 2.8%, 2.6%, 2.0%, and finally to 1.8%....Meanwhile, small businesses account for most of the jobs in the U.S., and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reported last week that its Small-Business Optimism Index dropped in June for the fourth straight month, and “is solidly in recession territory.” That does not bode well for an improvement in the jobs picture going forward.”

Read more:

So as Washington continues its kabuki theater regarding the debt ceiling crisis ~ Sy reminds us that raising the debt ceiling will not change what is already happening in the economy and will most likely will worsen a deteriorating economy ~ “An agreement to raise the debt ceiling would likely include long-term government spending cuts, basically a withdrawal of the stimulus that a high level of government spending has been providing to the economy. And failure to raise the debt limit would create serious problems for the U.S. in global financial markets, and raise interest rates in the U.S. ~ both of which would be serious additional negatives for the economy.”

It’s time to face reality and finally get beyond the lies and misinformation that caused and perpetuate our current economic crisis by recognizing that we are in a deepening recession, we’re broke and millions of Americans want truthful answers and jobs ~ not lies, hype and theater.

Congress is now on a path to do exactly what the American people don't want. Americans want shared sacrifice in deficit reduction. Congress is on track to give them the exact opposite: major cuts in the most important programs that the middle class needs and wants, and no sacrifice from the wealthy and the powerful. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the American people are so angry with what's going on in Washington? I am too: Senator Bernie Sanders / Vermont

And I am too, are you?

Allen L Roland

Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


President Obama needs to be dramatically reminded that he represents Main Street America ~ not just Wall Street and special interest groups. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is just the man to forcibly deliver that message in a Primary battle based on America’s true values: Allen L Roland

Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is often called ”America’s Senator” for good reason ~ Bernie represents what a vast majority of Americans truly want and what Congress and President Obama continue to ignore.

Here are eight examples:

1. A majority of the American people and Bernie want to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

2. A Majority of the American people want to tax Billionaires ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

3. A majority of Americans want to end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan (so called wars) ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

4. A Majority of Americans want to protect the environment ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

5. A Majority of Americans want to invest in Public Education and Jobs ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

6. A Majority of Americans want to curb corporate greed ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

7. A Majority of Americans want to protect civil rights ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

8. A majority of Americans want to protect rights in the workplace ~ Obama and the Republicans don’t.

Bernie Sanders is an honest strident voice in the political wilderness of Washington, DC crying out for moral values and political decency in a jungle of lobbyists, special interest groups and greedy political opportunists.

Here’s a short 12 minute video of Bernie offering a fictitious Congrats to the Gang of Six, the Powerful, the Wealthy, and Multinational Corporations on their recently announced long-term deficit reduction plans ~


Two and a half years ago when Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, ran for president of the United States, he made it very clear if you voted for him there would be no cuts in Social Security… What Senators Coburn, Crapo and Chambliss have managed to do in the Gang of Six is reach an agreement where there will be major cuts in Social Security. Don't let anybody kid you about this being some minor thing. It is not. What we are talking about is that Social Security cuts would go into effect virtually immediately. Ten years from now, the typical 75-year-old person will see their Social Security benefits cut by $560 a year. The average 85-year-old will see a cut of $1,000 a year. Now, for some people here in Washington, maybe the big lobbyists who make hundreds of thousands a year, $560 a year or $1,000 a year may not seem like a lot of money, but if you are a senior trying to get by on $14,000, $15,000, $18,000 a year and you're 85 years old, the end of your life, you're totally vulnerable, you're sick -- a $1,000 per year cut in what you otherwise would have received is a major, major blow.”

Bernie ends that video with these words ~ words which endear him to his constituency, which have made him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history, as well as me and millions of Americans who see him as a voice of truth in a din of deceit ~ This senator is going to fight back. I was not elected to the United States Senate to make devastating cuts in Social Security, in Medicare, in Medicaid, in children's programs while lowering tax rates for the wealthiest people in this country.”

William Rivers Pitt correctly describes the growing political despair of millions of Americans when he recently wrote ~: "It is difficult to describe this emotion. I'm used to disappointment, fairly comfortable with heartbreak, and am well acquainted with rage. Over the course of my lifetime, my presidents have been Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama ... and each, in his own way, has been worse than the last."

As Jeff Cohen wrote yesterday in AlterNet ~ “ Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont ~ widely seen as “America’s Senator” ~ is so disgusted by recent White House actions that he called Friday for a challenge to Obama in Democratic primaries: “I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.” Although Sanders has said clearly that he’s running for reelection to the senate in 2012 ~ not for president ~ his comment led instantly to a Draft Sanders for President website. See story ~

Cohen is correct that President Obama has pandered to Corporate interests for years but I would go one step further to say that Obama’s base support is no longer enthusiastic Progressives, Independents, Youth, Women, Seniors or even Blacks. Can anyone explain or justify that over 20% of our country’s income (it was 7 percent in 1980) now goes to the richest 1 percent of Americans.

Obama’s base is now the Corpocracy and a primary challenge would reveal this dichotomy and could well be used as a lever against any deal which would cut the social security safety net while maintaining tax breaks for the rich.

I agree with Cohen in that it could well be a powerful movement-building opportunity for activists tired of feeling hopeless with Obama ~ or I would add, betrayed by Obama’s broken promises which now include Social Security.

Please join me and jump on the Bernie Sander's bandwagon.

Click here

We cannot afford to settle for the lesser evil ~ we don’t have to and should not.

Allen L Roland

Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

Sunday, July 24, 2011


A search and rescue team boat passes by covered bodies of victims from the youth summer camp organized by the ruling Labor Party on Utoeya, an island outside the capital, Oslo. (Kristoffer Oeverli Andersen/AFP/Getty Images / July 23, 2011)

The Norway targeted massacre of over 92 youth and adults on July 22, 2011 is a symbol and wake up call to the world of the deadly consequences of the hate filled politics of right-wing Zionism and Islamophobia: Allen L Roland

Imagine yourself on this idyllic summer island in Norway ~ a thin, 500-yard strip of land in a gray lake in the Norwegian woods and a short distance from Oslo ~ having heard of an Oslo bombing and trying to get information on who was hurt. Most of the 600 campers, many from political families, had gathered in the main assembly building for a briefing on the bombing in Oslo ~ for relatives of many of the youths worked in the vicinity of the blast. Imagine your relief when you see a man dressed in police garb arrive on the Island ~ perhaps he has information for us, they must have thought …

And then he started shooting ~

As David Jolly, NY Times, wrote yesterday ~ “As soon as the shooting started, people panicked, witnesses said, running in all directions, tumbling down the island’s rocky hill in an attempt to reach the sea. Even after many made it into the water, the gunman calmly and methodically shot at those who were swimming.

“People right behind me were shot,” said Helen Andreassen, 21, a political adviser for the Labor Party’s youth wing. “I heard shots right behind me. He was standing just by the water, using his rifle, just taking his time, aiming and shooting. It was a slaughter of young children.”

Witnesses said the attacker wore a police uniform, which allowed him to deceive his victims as they desperately sought help. At one point, the gunman emerged from the forest and persuaded several youths who had sought refuge on the shore to come to him, said Stine Renate Haaheim, 27, a member of Parliament with the Labor Party, who was also among those hiding ~ and then he opened fire.”

Witnesses have said that those who feigned being dead, in order to escape the carnage, were shot in the head by the assailant who obviously wanted no one to survive his methodical murders.

Shocked? You should be!

This is an obvious statement of the deadly potential consequences when hate filled right wing Zionism is mixed with Islamophobia ~ for it was in fact an anti-Muslim zealot, Anders Behring Breivik, who committed the murders. A right-wing fundamentalist with a hatred for Norway's left, multiculturalism and Muslims. It still remains to be seen if this was a carefully planned psyops with other shooters involved.

As Alex Kane, writes in AlterNet, “An examination of Breivik's views, and his support for far-right European political movements, makes it clear that only by interrogating the nexus of Islamophobia and right-wing Zionism can one understand the political beliefs behind the terrorist attack. Breivik is apparently an avid fan of U.S.-based anti-Muslim activists such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes, and has repeatedly professed his ardent support for Israel “

In light of Norway’s strong support of Palestinian statehood, as well as the boycotting of some Israeli commerce, it’s not a surprise that this malicious attack exposed, as Kane writes ~ “ the dangerous nexus of Islamophobia, neo-conservatism and right-wing Zionism, and what could happen when the wrong person subscribes to those toxic beliefs.”

In other words, Anti-Muslim activists and right-wing Zionists share a political narrative that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a "clash of civilizations," one in which Judeo-Christian culture is under attack by Islam.

Could this monstrous act also have something to do with the fact that the day before the attack the Norwegian children at the camp held a BOYCOTT ISRAEL rally?

That two days prior to the attack ~ AUF’s (Labour Party's youth movement) leader Eskil Pedersen gave an interview to the Dagbladet, Norway's second largest tabloid newspaper, in which he revealed what he thinks of Israel ~ stating that he “believes the time has come for more drastic measures against Israel, and (that he) wants the Foreign Minister to impose an economic boycott against the country.”

Pederson went on to say, “The peace process goes nowhere, and though the whole world expect Israel to comply, they do not. We in Labour Youth will have a unilateral economic embargo of Israel from the Norwegian side.”

The main stream press will probably ignore an obvious motive for this terrorist act in that Norway planned to support a Palestinian state, was actively divesting itself of Israeli stocks and was pulling itself out of the Libyan invasion.

As Kane writes ~ “Why Breivik, and his accomplices if he had any, would attack young Norwegians remains unclear. But it probably had something to do with Breivik's belief that European governments, and the Norwegian government, were run by "Marxists" allied with Islamist extremists who were bent on destroying Europe through "multiculturalism."

There also appears to be a wealth of growing evidence to suggest that the perpetrator of this atrocity, even if it turns out he was acting alone, was very much part of a political movement ~ a movement whose leading ideologues regularly appear on Fox News and have high public profiles.

Matthew Goodwin, Guardian UK, correctly wrote today that ~ “the tragedy in Norway this weekend may prove to be a watershed moment in terms of how we approach far-right followers, groups and their ideology. Until now, European democracies and their security services had focused almost exclusively on the threat from al-Qaida -inspired terrorism. Right wing extremist groups and their more violent affiliates were dismissed as a disorganized, fragmented and irrelevant movement.”

To me, it certainly would appear that this is an attack on the nation of Norway for daring to assert itself in international politics ~ for daring to speak out against murder and genocide particularly as it relates to the Palestinians. Is this what Mr. Stoltenberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister, was referring to when he said: "No One will bomb us into silence. No One will ever shoot us into silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norwegians."

The dye is cast ~ the flames of fear and hate filled politics are burning brightly throughout the world and the Norway massacre is the latest symbol of its malignant presence.

Allen L Roland

Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on