Saturday, September 24, 2016

God Save the Workingman (poem)

God save the workman's right
From Mammon's sordid might,
        And Birth's pretence.
Confound the tricky rule,
Of foreign courtly tool,
Give us from Freedom's School
        The men of sense.

Forced as a boon to ask
For labour's daily task
        From purse-proud knaves;
Not ours the land we till,
Not ours the stores we fill
Living and dying still
        Beggars and slaves.

We toil at loam and spade,
And still the more we made,
        The less we gain;
For you the profits keep,
And you the surplus heap,
Till all our age can reap,
        Is want and pain.

Our poverty's your wealth,
Our sickness is your health,
        Our death your life;
Your shops in poison deal,
Banks forge, and statesmen steal,
And rots the commonweal,

With bloodstain'd despots' shame,
You link our country's name,
        And aid their crime;
God! hear thy people pray,
If there's no other way,
Give us one Glorious day
        Of Cromwell's time.

But if the Lord of Life
Will turn you hearts from strife,
        To clasp our hand,
And bid oppression cease;
The brotherhood and peace,
In Freedom's safe increase,
        Shall bless our land.

Ernest Jones, Chartist 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

map of millionaires

1. The United States is home to the most billionaires in the world, and they acquired their wealth in a nearly even split on the spectrum. As it stands, 32.1 % of the prosperous are company founders, 28.9 % inherited the cash, and 26.8 % are involved in the financial sector. The exceptions are the executives (8.4%) and those who are connected through political resources (3.8%). According to HowMuch, this is probably due to the U.S. gov’s hands-off strategy when it comes to business.

2. Europe is fairly diverse, too. A huge number of billionaires in Germany came into their wealth through inheritance (64.7 %), but about a quarter of them are company founders. It’s similar in France, with 51.2 % having inherited their goods, while 37.2 % run businesses.

3. China’s billionaires are mainly self-made. In the world’s second-largest economy, the map indicates there’s a serious opportunity for growth in business. Almost half of the billionaires are company founders, while 25% are executives. Furthermore, the number of Chinese billionaires has increased quickly.

4. Many South American billionaires are heirs to the fortune. Nearly half of Brazil’s billionaires inherited their money, and that trend prevails in Chile, Argentina, and Venezuela too.

5. Not one billionaire in Russia inherited his or her fortune. On the other hand, Russian billionaires mainly came into their cash mainly by means of political and resource-related ventures (64%).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Are you a Christian?


 1. You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the bible, Christianity and church history, but still call yourself a Christian.

 2. You define 0.001% a high sucess rate, when it comes to answering prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works, and you think that the remaining 99.99% failure was simply the will of God.

 3. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around the floor, "speaking in tongues," may be all the evidence you need.

 4. You believe that the entire population of this planet, with the exception of those who share your belief (though, excluding those in rival sects) will spend eternity in an infinite hell of suffering. Yet you consider your religion, the most tolerant and loving.

5. You are willing to spend your life looking for loopholes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and suggesting that the Earth is a few generations old.

6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about Gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who came to give birth to a man-god, who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

7.  Your face turns purple when you hear the atrocities attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch, when hearing about God/Jehovah, slaughtering all the babies in Egypt, in "Exodus" and ordering the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and animals.

8.  You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god.

9.  You feel insulted and dehumanised when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem believing we were created from dirt.

10.  You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.

Mutual Aid (video)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The New Poor

The “new poor” tend to live in households where there is someone in work. Only a third of children below the government’s absolute poverty line now live in a workless household – two thirds of those classified as poor are poor despite the fact that at least one of their parents is in work.

In key respects middle income families with children now more closely resemble poor families than in the past. Half are now renters rather than owner occupiers and, while poorer families have become less reliant on benefits as employment has risen, middle- income households with children now get 30% of their income from benefits and tax credits, up from 22% 20 years ago. Mothers’ earnings are increasingly important for households with children. For middle-income children the fraction of household income coming from women’s earnings rose from less than a fifth in 1994–95 to more than a quarter in 2014–15; and it doubled from 7% to 15% for the poorest fifth.

Europe is sinking into a protracted period of deepening poverty, mass unemployment, social exclusion, greater inequality, and collective despair as a result of austerity policies adopted in response to the debt and currency crisis of the past four years, according to an extensive study from the Red Cross. Mass unemployment – especially among the young, 120 million Europeans living in or at risk of poverty – increased waves of illegal immigration clashing with rising xenophobia in the host countries, growing risks of social unrest and political instability estimated to be two to three times higher than most other parts of the world, greater levels of insecurity among the traditional middle classes – all combine to make a European future more uncertain than at any time in the postwar era. "Many from the middle class have spiralled down to poverty…” it said. European Union official figures report that 24% of its non-poor population (122m citizens) are currently at risk of descending into poverty or social exclusion. This means that they were either at risk of income poverty (their disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold), severely materially deprived and/or living in households with low work rates.

A study by the German Institute for Economic Research in 2013 found that 40 percent of income inequality in Germany could be explained by family background.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

There is hope

When researchers started looking at whether countries could expand their populations and economies without using up more of the Earth's limited natural resources, they expected the answer to be “no”. But their findings suggest it can be done. A set of maps released this week show that people’s impact on the environment has been rising at a rate slower than that of economic and population growth. 
While the world's population grew 23 percent and its economy 153 percent between 1993 and 2009, the global footprint of humans grew only 9 percent, calculated a team of researchers from the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Queensland, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and six other universities.
Oscar Venter of the University of Northern British Columbia, the lead author of the study published in Nature Communications, called the results "encouraging...It means we are becoming more efficient in how we use natural resources," he said.