What a difference a year makes


Last year about this time there were demonstrations in New York city in opposition to the building of a community center which would feature a mosque, among other places of worship, at Park 51.  Islamophobes whipped up anti Islamic fervor and garnered a lot of media attention surrounding their racist rants.  We were inundated, regaled with news articles like this and this and this. One could make the case that such constant exposure in the media was an incitement to the mosque’s opponents to continue their assault against the First amendment to the Constitution.  The New York city demonstrations were duplicated in other cities across the country, taking the form of “anti-sharia” protests, intimating that as the number of mosques grew in America the possibility of Americans being ruled by Islamic law would increase too.  Faulty assumptions built on racial prejudice, that were never called that and magnified under the  full light of America’s media and gobbled up by America’s darkside, the Ground Zero mosque debacle was fully embraced by America.  One year later and Park 51 mosque has opened, people are praying there, life is still being lived and America is no worse for that event taking place as it should have.  It is correct to point out, albeit more pointedly than a writer here that the furor over the Park 51 mosque was indeed racist, fueled by a racist media, and particularly FoxNews, that journalistic anathema  that has soiled the American conscious.

A year later and what has changed is this, there is a ground swell against the nefarious activity of Wall Street bankers who have profited greatly at the expense of  the American economy through business transactions which solely benefited them.  What has also changed is the American media’s ignoring these protests which have been equally vociferous and as well attended but which have far more impact on the lives of every American than the building of a place of worship in New York city.  Media some say  serves as a source of intelligence for the public about what is or should be important to them but it has failed miserably in the two instances for this piece, over emphasizing Park 51 demonstrators while ignoring Occupy Wall Street protestors.  It appeared media’s intent was to neglect the protests in hopes they would fizzle out, disperse and quietly go away.  That hasn’t happened, I’m sure much to the chagrin of a lot of hand wringing execs in news rooms who must now cover these protests.

If you want to know what are the goals of these demonstrations, why are they being held and what it is the people taking part in them want, you can find that information below.

 

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A Disturbing Trend


New York Has the Most Millionaires
Robert Frank

According to the new Metro Wealth Index, created by consulting firm Capgemini, the New York Metropolitan area had 650,000 high-net worth individuals, or people with $1 million or more in investible assets in 2009. That is 18.7% higher than in 2008.

Once again, the New York area topped the list of metro-area wealth centers. Its total was greater than the combined total of the next three runners up–Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.

Of the top 10, Houston posted the the fastest growth, at 28.9%. But all enjoyed strong growth.

Here are the tallies of millionaires for the top 10, along with the percentage growth:

New York – 667,200, +18.7%

Los Angeles – 235,800, +13.3%

Chicago – 198,100, +15.1%

Washington, D.C. – 152,400 +19.3%

San Francisco – 138,300 +14.5%

Philadelphia – 104,100, +20.1%

Boston – 102,300, + 14.4%

Detroit – 89,100, +12.1%

Houston –- 88,200, +28.9%

San Jose — 86,500, +24.5%

What are the takeaways?

First, that the U.S. taxpayers’ bank bailouts certainly helped those on Wall Street (though why New York still has huge budget problems given the wealth surge in 2009 and much-publicized tax burden of the wealthy remains a mystery).

Second, that finance, technology and oil remain the main sources of wealth in the U.S.

Third, while New York, D.C., Houston and San Jose are now above 2007 levels, the rest are still below the 2007 heights.

Fourth, that 2010 may not be as rosy as 2009 when it comes to minting new millionaires or re-minting the old ones.
What patterns do you see in the numbers?

The seat of government, Washington, DC,  placed in the top five American cities with millionaires and that should say something about what government has done to its citizens.  In a city where the only business is government which then goes and has a steadily increasing number of millionaires from one year to the next but was virtually deadlocked and or engaged in acrimonious debate on increasing unemployment benefits for the country’s unemployed says something about what many people in government think is their role.  The war on terror has led to the enrichment of many private citizens whose wealth depends on a fearful government willing to empty out its coffers to fight or demonize people who either don’t exist, mean them no harm or are incapable of inflicting harm, at the expense of the majority of the American people.  In this case, the expression ‘follow the money’ has meaning!

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