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Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:04 PM


WEE Gather Together in Thanksgiving for November 26,2015

Markets are closed today, Thursday, and trade on a shortened schedule Friday (only to 1 PM).

I haven't talked to Tansy about Friday, but this thread will be active both days; The weekend will feature a theme yet to be determined....

If our native Americans can forgive it, I'd like to be thankful on this designated day for all the blessings which have come my way this year:

A small dinner for our small family came off very well Wednesday (in spite of suddenly realizing there was no sugar in the apple pies in the oven...the pies look like they were prepared by Dr. Frankenstein, but they smell good. We ate the pumpkin pie for dinner, since it was done first: farmer's market pumpkins peeled, steamed and pureed, then prepared in classic Fanny Farmer recipe. This year's pie pumpkins were rather short on flesh and long on seeds; 3 pie pumpkins only made 4 pies. Since I used a recipe, everything needed went in the first time....and it was good.

I have new tires and oil, and will get the alignment 7am Friday....the poor guys have been ordered by the owner of the franchise to work starting 7 AM instead of the normal 8 AM, for Friday and Saturday, to make up for Thursday's close.

Everyone is offering coupons and special deals like crazy: I have never seen such intensity of marketing efforts. But everything is fine...no deflation, no inflation, and unemployment is a new low, just peachy keen.

The rose on the LittleTree is blooming and quite perfect. The Big Tree has another bud! I must put the fertilizer in the pots. Last weekend's snow is nearly gone, given the sunny days we've been having, but not quite. It was 8 inches, after all.

We are all in reasonably good shape, and hope you all are too, or will be shortly. As for the greater world, we can only deal with our little part of it, and hope that everyone else is doing their part to defeat the bad guys. Now more than ever, it's a group effort, keeping the world on balance. Let's hope we figure out how, and convince everybody to help.

I hope you enjoy your feast with your loved ones! Don't eat too much!

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Reply WEE Gather Together in Thanksgiving for November 26,2015 (Original post)
Demeter Nov 2015 OP
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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:13 PM

1. Thanksgiving, With or Without Turkey



FOUR centuries after the pilgrims, families are still celebrating their successful arrival on North American shores with a big meal at the end of November. But the big roasted turkey doesn’t always have the starring role.

In the family of Margoth Abrego, a 56-year-old Salvadoran immigrant, the whole bird never makes it to the dinner table. Instead, two turkeys (one cooked in the oven, the other on the stovetop) are picked apart in the kitchen, then stuffed in bread to make a Salvadoran dish called pan con chumpe.

The pan con chumpe is served alongside arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), a traditional Puerto Rican dish. For the Abrego family, Thanksgiving is a celebration of their roots in distant places — and a reminder of the long struggle to keep the family united. For 14 years, Ms. Abrego grew up in El Salvador without her mother, who had left to work in Los Angeles hotels and remarried into a Puerto Rican family.

“My mom can’t talk about her childhood without crying,” said Ms. Abrego’s daughter, Leisy Abrego, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “She’s still trying to make up for all those years she lost with her mother.”

This Thanksgiving, five generations of the Abrego family will be seated together. In an age when America’s borders are harder to cross than ever, not every immigrant family is so fortunate...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:20 PM

2. Thanksgiving — in 8 other countries



Thanksgiving in the U.S. is associated with a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, Mass., when a feast and day of thanks giving was prompted by a good harvest. Americans tend to think of Pilgrims, pumpkin pie and plenty of turkey. But the tradition exists in many religions, and similar holidays are celebrated in several other countries. Here’s how eight other countries celebrate Thanksgiving ...


China’s mid-Autumn festival takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its brightest and roundest. The moon-worshipping festival, celebrated by the eating of mooncakes, which contain an egg yolk to symbolize the moon, has been celebrated in China for more than 2,500 years. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days. Above, people view the full moon from an ancient bridge at Taoranting Park during the Mid-Autumn Festival in Beijing on Sept 19, 2013.



Erntedankfest, the thanksgiving celebration of Germany, occurs around harvest time, September or October, and is marked by church services, a parade, music and a fair. It is also celebrated in parts of Austria and Switzerland. Above, a traditional harvest festival altar (Erntedankaltar) at a Catholic church in Germany.



On morning of the day of Chuseok, family members gather at their homes to hold memorial services (called Charye) in honor of their ancestors. It’s a celebration of the harvest and thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth. It is the nation’s biggest traditional holiday, celebrated in September. Above, a former North Korean resident who fled to South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War bows toward her hometown in the north during a memorial service for her ancestors outside the off-limits border perimeter.



Labor Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Japan on Nov. 23. It is considered a time to commemorate labor and production and to give one another thanks. Above, people stroll under ginkgo trees at Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park on the national holiday.


Canadian Thanksgiving — or l’Action de grâce— was first celebrated in 1578. The spirit of the holiday is to give thanks and celebrate the harvest. It takes place on the second Monday in October.


Liberia, which was colonized by former slaves, celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Thursday of November. It follows similar traditions to those of Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.


As Smithsonian magazine notes, many Pilgrims lived and worked in the Netherlands city of Leiden, above, before their voyage to the new world. The connection is still strong enough that every year, on the day of American Thanksgiving, people gather in a 900-year-old church known as Pieterskerk to celebrate the perseverance and good fortunes of the early American settlers.


Ghana’s Homowo (“hooting at hunger”) Festival is celebrated by the Ga people of the Accra region of Ghana. The festival commemorates the period in history when there was a serious famine in the land. It usually takes place in August.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:46 PM

3. The Struggle for Justice on Tribal Lands



THE Thanksgiving we now celebrate began in partnership. Long after Pilgrim and Wampanoag families first shared their respective harvests, Native American communities continue to work, formally and informally, with many of their neighbors. For example, before the Green Bay Packers take to Lambeau Field tomorrow night, thousands of fans will enter the historic stadium through its eastern entrance, named the Oneida Nation Gate in partnership with Green Bay’s closest tribal neighbor, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Like many Indian tribes, the Oneida support numerous institutions of government, run schools and day care centers and employ hundreds of non-Indians.

But tribal governments now face a grave threat to this kind of partnership and to their very sovereignty. The danger comes from an action brought by the Dollar General Corporation. On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case regarding alleged sexual assaults by a Dollar General manager against a tribal minor, a 13-year-old who apprenticed in a store on Choctaw tribal lands in Mississippi. While working in partnership with non-Indians remains an important part of what tribal governments do, ensuring the welfare of tribal members is an essential function of their power. This case has the potential to undermine the authority of tribes to do both. In keeping with the fraught legal and political relationship between Indians and the federal government, this case, Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, is deeply rooted in our shared history. And as its focus has expanded, it is no longer exclusively about the child who was originally at its center.

Since its inception, the United States government has recognized that tribal governments have authority over their lands, their members and, in certain situations, those who enter their territories. This recognition is rooted in the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, in nearly two centuries of Supreme Court rulings and, crucially, in generations of customary practices between tribes and their neighbors. By asserting that tribes, despite generations of these partnerships with non-Indians, lack jurisdiction over businesses in Indian country, Dollar General is challenging this historic principle of American law. This is not the first time tribes have fought to preserve their authority over non-Indians. For example, in 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe that only the federal government could punish non-Indians for crimes committed on tribal lands.

But decades later, it was Native American survivors of domestic violence who led efforts to have Congress reauthorize previously lost forms of tribal authority over domestic violence. This victory came not only after growing concerns over lawlessness in Indian country but also after the harrowing testimony of survivors during the run-up to the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act...

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 09:53 PM

4. Where to get free stuff on Thanksgiving and Black Friday



On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, savvy shoppers can score plenty of freebies while they’re out shopping.

Many retailers are dangling gifts in front of consumers that range from $100 gift cards to goodies for your pet. “These are a marketing tactic to get you in the store,” explains deal expert Mark LoCastro, a spokesperson for lifestyle site LittleThings.com. “They’re banking on you buying more stuff while in there.”

Furthermore, it’s a tactic that retailers use to lure you away from their competitors. “Shoppers love grabbing a great bargain, so the possibility of getting something free can make one store’s sale more attractive than a competitor’s,” explains Matthew Ong, a retail analyst with NerdWallet.com.

But usually, of course, there’s a catch, says LoCastro: Sometimes you have to be a member of a rewards program, be one of the early birds that gets in line first (this makes sense, as 70% of a shopper’s Black Friday spending is done at the first two stores they go to, according to a MasterCard survey) or buy something to get these free items.

Still, a freebie can be tempting — and for some people, they’re worth it even with the catches. Here are Black Friday freebies—- for pet owners, outdoorsmen, fitness buffs, fashionistas, home decor aficionados and bookworms — shoppers may want to consider:

  1. For the fashionista

    As they did last year, department store Belk has one of the best giveaways: To the first 250 people to enter the store, the retailer will give away a total of $1 million worth of gift cards (values are $5 to $1,000 with one $1,000 winner per store) starting on Thanksgiving at 6 pm.

    J.C. Penney, which opens at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving, is offering coupons at the door (while supplies last) -- for $10 off a $10+ purchase, $100 off a $100+ purchase and a few $500 off any $500+ purchase -- plus a chance to win one of 10 $10,000 cash prizes.

    K-Mart is giving the first 100 shoppers in its stores (it opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday) a free goodie bag while supplies last.

  2. For pet owners

    If you feel like bringing Fido along for some early morning Black Friday fun, you may want to consider a trip to PetSmart , which is giving the first 100 customers through its doors a free movie rental; the store opens at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Meanwhile, Petco’s deal is a little less appealing, in that it requires you to buy something and present your Pals Rewards loyalty card when you do, but then, you can get antlers for your dog or a Grinch headpiece for your cat.

  3. For the outdoorsman

    The first 600 people in line on Black Friday at outdoor retailer Cabela’s are eligible to win prizes like gift cards up to $100, a smoker or a bolt-action rifle. The catch: You may need to get there super early (the doorbusters begin at 5 a.m.) to score one of the prizes and even then you’re not guaranteed to get one.

    Gander Mountain, which opens at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, is giving the first 100 customers through the door either a freebie (they don’t specify what this is yet) or a 50% off coupon, plus a chance to win a $500 gift card.

  4. For the sports and fitness enthusiast

    If your Thanksgiving meal added a few inches to your waistline, you may want to take advantage of the fact that Gold’s Gym is letting consumers come in and work out for free. The “Trim the Fat Friday” promotion is available at participating locations, so check with your local gym before donning those running shoes.

    Sports Authority, which opens its doors at 6 p.m. on Thursday, will give away a $15 gift card to the first 80 people in line.

  5. For the bookworm

    Half Price Books is offering the first 100 people in line at its stores (doors open at 9 a.m., so get there ahead of time) a free tote bag and a $5 gift card. Plus, one tote bag will have a $100 gift card in it. Shoppers also get 20% off all day on Friday.

  6. For the home decor aficionado

    On Black Friday (doors open at 7 a.m.) and throughout the weekend, Cost Plus World Market will be giving away a “Downton Abbey” teacup to the first 100 customers in its stores; they will also have a “Downton Abbey” tote bag available to those who spend $20 or more.

    The first 21 customers in each Michaels store will get free gift cards worth either $5 (20 cards per store have that amount on them) or $20 (one card per store). Michaels opens at 7 a.m. on Black Friday.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 10:15 PM

5. Here’s a good reason to pay for your holiday gifts in cash



As the holiday shopping season kicks off, cyber threat intelligence experts have announced they have discovered the most sophisticated point-of-sale malware to date. It has already impacted multiple national retailers and millions of credit cards. Cyber threat intelligence company iSight Partners Inc. has been tracking the malware, called ModPOS, short for “modular point-of-sale system,” since it discovered early signs of its framework in 2012, said Stephen Ward, a senior director at iSight Partners.

Often, shoppers associate risk with shopping online, said Herbert Lin, a cyber policy expert at Stanford University; ModPOS is significant because it impacts those paying in stores at the register. And although other forms of malware have impacted “point-of-sale,” or retail, locations before, ModPOS is the most advanced.

“You could almost call this an evolution in the way cyber crime is being done at the point of sale,” said Jake Williams, an information security consultant.

The system is comparable to a Swiss Army knife because it is able to tap into shoppers’ information in many different ways, from determining what type of software a cashier is using to figuring out consumers’ usernames and passwords to tracking the keystrokes cashiers make during check-out, Ward says. Later, those using the malware can use that credit-card information in transactions for which a physical credit card isn’t required.

Cyber experts have discovered a new, sophisticated strain of malware...Take precautions before paying with a credit card. To boot, the malware is particularly difficult to detect, said Maria Noboa, a senior technical analyst at iSight Partners. “It gives anyone full control of your system, and you have no idea they’re on there,” Noboa said.

There are several measures shoppers should take to protect themselves. For this particular threat, mobile-payment methods that use “tokenization” including Apple Pay AAPL, -0.72% offer more protection because credit and debit card numbers are not shared as part of an in-store transaction. Shoppers should also be careful when making purchases on public Wi-Fi networks because many are not protected with encryption, said Pam Codispoti, the president of Chase Consumer Branded Cards.

EMV, or “chip” cards, were designed to prevent credit-card cloning, and therefore also add extra protection against many types of theft. However, they will not protect against ModPOS if at any point in the transaction the credit-card information becomes “unencrypted,” Lin said. And consumers won’t necessarily know in advance if this will happen; it can happen when retailers incorrectly set up their credit-card systems, or even when manufacturers make the equipment for doing so.

Avoiding using a credit card when possible is also a good idea, Ward said, even if it’s not always convenient or practical. “From a security perspective, cash is king.” “If you can’t, use a good old check,” said Avivah Litan, a security analyst at Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Conn.-based market research and advisory firm.

However, there are obvious risks involved with carrying too much cash, including the risk that if lost or stolen, cash obviously won’t be replaced by a credit-card company. To get around this, shoppers can ask their banks for a one-time-use credit card number or a pre-paid credit card, said Joseph Steinberg, an Internet security expert. Many consumers were already planning to do most of their holiday shopping in cash; a recent survey from personal finance site Bankrate showed that 39% of Americans plan to make most of their holiday purchases in cash, followed by debit cards (31%), credit cards (22%) and checks (3%).

Despite the threat, it’s unlikely many shoppers will take note and change their shopping habits, iSight’s Ward said. “The American public has been somewhat fatigued by breach disclosure over the course of the last few years,” he said. “We see the latest headline, but we don’t look at things in totality.” One theory as to why: Ultimately, the responsibility for protecting consumers falls on retailers, which could ultimately push up their costs and prices, Litan said. But even when consumers get their money back, they’ll have to deal with the “hassle factor” of replacing their cards.

For retailers, this process doesn’t come cheap. Target disclosed in a recent financial filing that it has incurred $252 million of data breach-related expenses. The direct cost of data breach per compromised record increased from $201 in 2014 to $217 in 2015, according to a May 2015 study from the Traverse City, Mich.-based research center Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM. Direct costs refer to what companies spend to minimize the consequences of a data breach and to assist victims of such breaches; they include engaging forensic experts to help investigate the data breach, hiring a law firm and offering victims identity protection services...


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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 10:19 PM

6. too pooped from making pie--see you on thanksgiving day!


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Response to Demeter (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 05:41 AM

8. +1

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 04:17 AM

7. Will Beijing become a tighter sub-imperial ally of Western financiers?


On Nov. 30, the Chinese yuan will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen as the world’s official reserve currencies, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund. What this heralds is the amplification of extreme uneven development and the abuse of Chinese economic surpluses, yet again, for the purpose of bailing out a corrupt, fragile world financial system.

Aside from the IMF itself, the driver appears to be the People’s Bank of China, which needs a new name now: the Western Bankers’ Bank of China. Its official statement claimed “a win-win result for China and the world.”

But here, the name “China” really means the neoliberal clique at the helm of Beijing’s economic management, and the “world” means a very shaky capitalism suffering periodic spasms in its hyper-speculative financial centers. For the last fifteen years, these centers have enjoyed a Washington backstop that was the beneficiary of Chinese official purchases of US Treasury Bills. Reaching $1.3 trillion in late 2013, that process has finally reversed, with about $100 billion in net T-Bill sales since then. But Beijing still holds about a third of its foreign reserves in these investments, representing more than a fifth of all foreign US T-Bill holdings (in turn, the $6 trillion in US T-Bills is about a third of total US foreign indebtedness – an amount so vast it can only be repaid by running the Fed printing press).

Beijing is mindful of homegrown economic problems, including its own vast overindebtedness, the secondary cities’ real estate meltdown and the $3.5 trillion collapse of the main stock markets mid-year. If London bankers are correct, when the IMF welcomes the yuan, an additional $1 trillion of global reserves could move into Chinese financial assets. That would negate Beijing’s August 2015 2 percent currency devaluation and make the whole system more balanced at surface level, yet far more chaotic underneath as a result of international contagion from a future Chinese debt crisis. Meantime, China will probably bolster the IMF’s own loan-pushing in its new self-interested currency partnership.

Is there an alternative, an opting-out of the financial death grip between China and the West? And for the other BRICS, is there a way to support the Bank of the South (which without Brazil’s support appears stillborn), or to default on ‘Odious Debt’ (as did Ecuador in 2009), or to impose tough exchange controls (as did Malaysia to halt capital flight in 1998), or to insist that state regulators get control of local financiers rather than the other way around?


Far better would be to turn the BRICS finance ministries and central banks over to activists trained by the current wave of student #FeesMustFall protests, European struggles against austerity, Occupy, debt cancellation advocacy and the Third World’s thousands of IMF Riots the last third of a century. Sure, we don’t yet deserve those gigs – because our counter-power has repeatedly risen and then rapidly shriveled during the neoliberal era’s contestations against corporate and banking elites. But one day we must go for it.

/... http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/China-Sucked-Deeper-into-World-Financial-Vortex-as-BRICS-Sink--20151125-0024.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:36 AM

21. One hopes not--or that the Chinese turn the tables on Western Banksters


I think that may be the Chinese plan, but whether they are smart enough (and sufficiently incorruptible to pull it off) remains to be seen...

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 06:52 AM

9. 10 dividend stocks for 2016 with yields up to 15.6%



Why buy dividend stocks?

There are two main arguments. Let’s start with ...
... the growth case

If you’re a long-term growth investor, the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats SPDAUDP, +0.05% has an excellent record of outperforming the S&P 500 Index SPX, -0.01% It doesn’t matter how high the yields are. This group of 52 S&P 500 companies has simply raised annual dividend payouts for at least 25 consecutive years.

The idea is that this type of consistent track record correlates to strong overall management and shareholder returns in the long haul...Any income investor is aware that with interest rates being so low for so long, market prices for bonds and dividend stocks are likely to fall as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. But even after the Fed changes direction and begins raising the federal funds rate above the range of zero to 0.25%, where it has been locked since late 2008, rates are likely to remain quite low for a long time.

So the market prices of income-producing securities may not fall as much as many investors fear, or maybe they’ll stage a recovery after the hysteria of the Fed’s likely near-term policy change wears off.

“Based on our economic forecasts, we currently expect the committee to raise the funds rate by 100 basis points next year, or one hike per quarter — a fair amount above the 55-60 basis point pace priced into the bond market,” Goldman Sachs analyst Jan Hatzius said on Friday.

So it cannot be emphasized enough: If your objective is to maximize current income, you need to be able to commit to holding the securities for many years...


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 06:56 AM

10. Musical Interlude


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:02 AM

11. Almost Half of America’s Workers Make Less Than $15 an Hour



We’ve come a long way since that crisp November day three years ago when a small group of New York City fast-food workers launched a strike with the slogan “Fast Food Forward.” Today, the movement continues its forward march with the viral hashtag #FightFor15. On November 10, workers in hundreds of cities again went on strike and rallied, this time with an especially militant overtone, timed to launch a year-long campaign to foreground low-wage workers’ issues in the elections.

Tuesday’s protests, supported chiefly by the SEIU with backing from an array of community and labor groups, showed how many methods of raising wages have made gains—through legislation, voter referenda, grassroots labor pressure—or even administrative intervention, such as New York’s Governor Cuomo’s two major executive-led wage hikes. But more importantly, the efforts reveal why none of these measures add up yet to structural economic change. In Seattle and Los Angeles, which got to $15 wages by legislation, and San Francisco, which voted for a raise via ballot initiative, municipalities face new challenges in labor enforcement in sectors that have traditionally had little oversight. On the upside, as other cities lean toward $15 an hour, concurrent local policy discussions have emerged around systemic worker empowerment, such as proposals for fair scheduling and paid sick days to improve workers’ overall economic stability.

And the executive actions in New York—along with new collective-bargaining agreements raising wages for home health aides in Massachusetts and Oregon—show grassroots pressure can spur reforms through administrative measures that might otherwise stagnate in legislatures. Governor Cuomo’s new executive action will boost wages for about 10,000 workers in state government offices and executive agencies. The move may serve as a prelude to Cuomo’s push for statewide legislation that will vie with a similar initiative in California for the first statewide $15 wage floor (a refreshing upward competition, after years of employers racing to the bottom in wages and labor standards).

But the Fight for $15 has so far probably done more to shed light on the crisis of economic inequality than it has to actually improve wages directly on a wide scale. New research shows much more than wage hikes is needed to build a sustainable jobs for low-wage workers. According to the think tank National Employment Law Project, over four in 10 workers nationwide earn less than $15 per hour. Food services have the greatest percentage of ultra-low-wage earners of any industry, with a whopping 96 percent of fast-food workers earning sub-$15 wages. About 3 million cashiers and 2 million retail sales people—a large chunk working for some of the world’s most lucrative chains—currently earn less than $15 an hour. That wage is roughly the bare minimum needed to live decently anywhere in the country. But more disturbingly, low wages are a symptom of more systemic, structural oppression across the labor force. Ultimately, while policies to raise hourly pay have drawn populist energy, they will not directly improve the lot of workers stuck in the informal economy, undocumented laborers, people who are part-time and erratically employed, or those trapped in jobs where wage theft and overtime violations are rife. The New York wage board’s fast-track raise for fast-food workers is limited as well. A careful analysis by the Century Foundation found that—in contrast with rosier projections by the governor’s office—the $15 wage floor is structured so narrowly it reaches just a tiny fraction of low-wage New Yorkers; the estimated 94,000 fast food–chain workers covered by the wage standard represent “just 3 percent of its sub-$15 workforce, and a scant 1.2 percent of its overall workforce.”


So now the Fight for $15 isn’t telling politicians what they need, but what their families deserve and demand. By tying workers’ economic aspirations to the horizon of political change, they proclaim that the fight is not about the money: It’s about the dignity of earning, and of giving, their fair share.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:03 AM

12. Let's work to make sure EVERYONE has real reasons to be thankful, next year!


I feel the Bern!

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:03 AM

13. Mary Chapin Carpenter's Thanksgiving song


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:05 AM

14. Johnny Cash's Thanksgiving Prayer


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:07 AM

15. THANKFUL- Josh Groban


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:12 AM

16. Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:15 AM

17. TPP signing likely to be in NZ




The official signing ceremony for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is likely to will place in New Zealand next year but at Trade Minister level only.

Had it been elevated to leader level, US President Barack Obama would be coming to New Zealand, as he indicated he would like to do before his term is up in January 2017.

Mr Obama chaired a meeting of leaders and trade ministers of the 12 TPP countries on the sidelines of Manila including Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser.

One of the debates inside the closed meetings was when to allow new countries to join.

"I think it is fair to say there is a range of views," Mr Key told reporters afterwards.

"Some leaders are very much of the view that it is a foundation stone from which new entrants should be allowed to join so long as they meet the standard.

"Others took the view that maybe we should let it settle down a little bit first.

"But I would have thought if you can meet the standard, myself, I cant see why you wouldn't let other people in."

Asked whether the US was one of countries that wanted to let things settle down before considering new entrants, Mr Key said he thought the US was open-minded about it...


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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:18 AM

18. Most Chinese luxury consumption happens overseas




China accounts for nearly half of the world's luxury consumption so far this year, but Chinese consumers do most of their shopping outside of the country, a Beijing-based consultancy said in a report on Tuesday. Chinese are expected to spend 116.8 billion U.S. dollars on luxury goods this year, accounting for 46 percent of the world's total, said the Fortune Character Institute.

However, 91 billion worth of luxury purchases, or 78 percent of all Chinese luxury consumption this year, happens outside of China, up 12 percent from last year. Increased buying overseas has led to a 1 percentage drop in China's luxury market share in the world's total, to 10 percent. The institute also estimates that the world's luxury market is set to grow 11 percent this year to 255.2 billion U.S. dollars.

The report also found that 83 percent of luxury brands have closed some of their retail outlets in China this year and closures will continue. It predicted more overhauls of existing shops next year to focus on experience and service as more consumers opt to purchase online.

This year also witnessed an emergence of luxury online retailers in China. But the institute said a survey of high net worth individuals in China suggests that only 4 percent of them are willing to shop luxury goods at domestic online retailers while 44 percent prefer buying at brands' official websites.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:28 AM

19. How Ironic Is It, that Turkey the Nation Should Be Causing So Much Heartburn on Turkey Day!


Turkeys, as we all know from a previous Thanksgiving WEE, didn't even come from turkey...

but in Ergodan's case, I'm willing to argue an exception.

John Helmer: The Classic Rules for Combatting Turkish Aggression


A generation ago, a Greek prime minister, whom the Soviet Politburo in Moscow underestimated, defeated a Turkish attack on Greek territory. That was Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou; the victory was the battle of the Aegean of March 26, 1987. Before that, no Russian had defeated a Turkish attack for more than a hundred years. Since 1991 Russians say Turkey has been “not merely a close neighbour, but a friendly state.”

Papandreou prepared for his fight with the knowledge his enemies judged him a coward. He also had the hope that if he struck hard and fast enough, his enemies would be confounded and retreat. The decision also included Papandreou’s private wager that one way or another, he might not have long to live himself. So he moved the Greek air force, targeted and fully armed on 90-second order for take-off. He planned with the Bulgarian President Todor Zhivkov, an enemy of NATO, to order his tank columns towards the Turkish border, allied against the common historical enemy. He ordered the electricity supply cut to US command-and-control headquarters in Greece. Not a spark, not a signal from foreign spy or Greek traitor warned the Turks, the Americans, or the Russians of Papandreou’s war plan...


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Response to Demeter (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:52 AM

22. Mathew D. Rose: The Ordeal of Angela Merkel MORE HEARTBURN



By Mathew D. Rose, a freelance journalist in Berlin

There seems to be a concerted effort in German politics and media to unseat the nation’s chancellor, Angela Merkel. It is difficult to say exactly when things started to go wrong for Ms Merkel, yet in retrospect she has been careening from one crisis to the other for a couple of years. The incipient moment was probably the euro crisis, but Merkel’s watershed was doubtlessly Germany’s calamitous political intervention in Ukraine. Since then things have gone steadily downhill. With her newest crisis, refugees and immigrants, Ms Merkel is being portrayed as out of touch with her party, her people and reality, but even worse, as rather ridiculous. The latter is something that no leader can permit to occur.

That Ms Merkel ever became chancellor was a political quirk; that she has remained in office a truly impressive feat. Following re-unification the East German Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and was elected to the Bundestag. The chancellor at that time, Helmut Kohl, appointed the political novice Merkel as Minister for Women und Youth, a rather innocuous posting. For Kohl, Merkel fulfilled three important qualities: she was from East Germany, a woman and not seen as a political threat, a reliable party underling. Kohl referred to Merkel condescendingly as “my girl”. Following Kohl’s retirement in 1998 Wolfgang Schäuble became CDU Party Chairman and was destined to be the CDU’s candidate for chancellor in the upcoming bundestag election. To keep any potent male competition in the party in check, Schäuble selected the bland Merkel as CDU Secretary-General.

1999 however saw Kohl and Schaüble caught up in a massive party funding scandal. Although the affair was swept beneath the rug, following Schäuble’s resignation as party leader, it was clear that his candidacy for chancellor was no longer on the cards. In fact, aware of an imminent backlash from voters at the next election, no one wanted the post as party leader, which includes the candidacy for the chancellorship, so it was given to Merkel. The CDU male grandees assumed they would have no problem unseating her as party leader following her inevitable election defeat. As fate would have it, the leader of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), claimed the nomination. The CSU is a provincial party that produces hordes of mediocre politicians, who rule via corruption and nepotism and an extremely suspect justice system. Every thirty years a CSU politician believes he is ordained to be chancellor of Germany. Not taken seriously by the rest of the nation, they go on to lose.

This bumptious intervention by the CSU, ending in the inevitable defeat of their candidate for chancellor, was a godsend for Ms Merkel, leaving her in a strong position. Her male competitors for the party leadership were not able to find a consensus candidate, their personal ambition impeding each other, so Ms Merkel remained politically unscathed. In the next Bundestag election in 2005 Ms Merkel may have cut a very poor figure as the CDU/CSU candidate for the chancellorship, appearing incompetent in financial matters, and squandering a massive lead in the polls, but her party narrowly edged out the Social Democrats. The two struck a deal to share the spoils and formed a grand coalition with Merkel as chancellor. Merkel followed the CDU tradition of permitting big business to determine policy and converting this into law. The grand coalition was the golden age of donations and sponsoring by large corporations for the CDU, CSU and Social Democrats. Many politicians in the ruling coalition benefitted personally from this munificence. There were bountiful consulting-contracts, generously remunerated seats in supervisory boards of companies and exceptionally well paid jobs after retirement from active politics, not to mention bribes.

There was one exception, however. The nuclear disaster of Fukushima occurred shortly preceding a state election in Baden-Württemberg, the CDU heartland. Despite the majority of Germans being increasingly disenchanted with nuclear energy, Ms Merkel had just revised a law phasing it out by 2021, extending the date well into the future, as proscribed by Germany’s four major energy providers. Merkel knew that her party, as a dogmatic supporter of nuclear energy, would suffer serious damage in the upcoming election in Baden-Württemberg and made a remarkable volte face, more or less reinstating the original law to phase out nuclear power stations within ten years...



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Response to Demeter (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 11:18 AM

24. Russian officials order retaliatory economic measures against Turkey


... Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Moscow to draw up measures including freezing some joint investment projects with Turkey, in retaliation for the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey.

“The government has been ordered to work out a system of response measures to this act of aggression in the economic and humanitarian spheres,” Medvedev told a cabinet meeting in televised comments, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

He said under Russian law the broad punitive steps could include halting joint economic projects, restricting financial and trade transactions and changing customs duties. Measures could also target the tourism and transport sectors, labor markets and “humanitarian contacts,” Medvedev said, adding that the measures would then likely be listed in a decree from President Vladimir Putin.

“In these documents the focus will be on introducing limits or bans on the economic activities of Turkish economic structures working in Russia, a limitation of the supply of products, including food products, and on the work and provision of services by Turkish companies and other restrictive measures,” Medvedev reportedly stated. “I propose doing all this in a period of two days so that we can move to setting up the appropriate procedures as quickly as possible,” he told government ministers...

/... http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russian-officials-order-retaliatory-economic-measures-against-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=91713&NewsCatID=344

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:32 AM



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Response to Demeter (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 07:56 AM

23. The Promised Downpour Has Commenced


I'm so glad we did our family Thanksgiving yesterday, a much nicer day for it, or for anything.

Today I have promised myself to stay in my warm, fuzzy pajamas all day, eat pie and do mending, plus post as much as possible to get the backlog down a bit...

I'm taking a break now...I am hungry for pie---I mean, breakfast!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Be back later...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 26, 2015, 02:53 PM

25. Cold with light flakes here. n/t

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 06:31 AM

26. Instead of getting stuff done on Thursday, I slept


and read for entertainment. I think I needed that.

The problem with catching up on sleep is I start dreaming, which means nightmares, and since I'm several years behind on nightmares due to minimal sleep, I tend to give up sleeping beyond the minimum required for functioning as a choice.

It's Friday, it's raining like crazy, and all those poor bargain hunters are out drowning...I'm going to get the alignment and be finished with my winter time car preparations (although, still haven't found the scraper). May Friday be all you want it to be!

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