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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
February 23, 2016

1 in 4 Americans on verge of financial ruin

(MarketWatch) The rich keep getting richer. The rest of us aren’t so lucky.

According to a survey released Tuesday by Bankrate.com of more than 1,000 adults, nearly one in four Americans have credit card debt that exceeds their emergency fund or savings. And that’s partially because many people, in addition to their debt, don’t have a dime in their emergency fund at all: another Bankrate survey released earlier this year found that 29% of Americans have no emergency savings at all.

These numbers mean that many Americans are “teetering on the edge of financial disaster,” says Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst — thanks to the fact that they might be hard-pressed to pay for an emergency should one arise. “Not only do most of them not have enough savings, they’ve all used up some portion of their available credit — they are running out of options.”

That’s particularly problematic considering that emergencies happen more often than you might think. A 2014 survey by American Express found that half of all Americans had experienced an unforeseen expense in the past year — some of which could be considered an emergency. Indeed, 44% of those who had an unforeseen expense(s) had one for health care and 46% for car trouble — two items that for many Americans are must-pay items, as you need a car to get to work and your health expenses are usually not optional. ................(more)


February 23, 2016

The South China Tiger Is Functionally Extinct. This Banker Has 19 of Them

(Bloomberg) On the highway south of Bloemfontein, South Africa, Stuart Bray sits in the back seat of a safari truck, sweating in jeans and boots in the 100-degree heat of a December afternoon. Bray and his driver have just picked up two Chinese government officials from the airport, and now they’re wedged in next to him, their expressions hidden by sunglasses. As they drive, the only landmarks are dusty sheep farms and the occasional ostrich.

Bray rides cheerfully until, an hour into the drive, his cell phone buzzes. A tabloid reporter is calling from London, the city where Bray lives most of the year and where he’s getting a high-profile divorce. His wife has made another set of accusations in the multimillion-pound case. “No, it’s not true that I don’t like animals,” Bray tells the reporter, irritated. “No, it’s not true that I hate my wife’s cats.” It’s impossible to tell if the Chinese are listening.

The phone signal dies as the truck enters a wind-blasted, rocky expanse of scrubland called the Karoo. After an awkward silence, Bray turns his companions’ attention to the creatures they’ve come to see. “They could kill you just playing,” he says. “If one wanted to hurt you, you would really be in trouble.”

The truck approaches a 10-foot-high electric fence that stretches for miles into the distance, like something out of Jurassic Park. A sign on a gate, marked Laohu Valley Reserve, warns in Afrikaans that trespassers will be prosecuted. After stopping at a lodge, the vehicle continues down a dirt track that leads to more electrified fences. These divide slopes of dried grass into an uneven grid, each roughly the size of a football field. After a few more minutes, the truck stops next to the only building in sight, a hut with cage doors, and Bray and the Chinese get out. ......................(more)


February 23, 2016

When you're only 8 feet above sea level, global warming isn't just an idea

By Matthew Schofield


As Hussain Khallib’s boat chugs into a turquoise-colored water channel, he points at the shoreline of the approaching island and notes the thin stretch of vegetation between white sand beaches on either side. It’s never more than a few feet above the water.

“We spend a lot of time worrying about the idea of rising sea level here,” he explains. “Many fear they will go to bed one night on dry land, and wake up in the morning in water. But we know the truth is far less dramatic. We will lose our nation and our homes one grain of sand at a time.”

Khallib, 21, is one of the estimated 393,000 residents who live in Maldives, a nation of 1,200 small islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of India that is considered the world’s most at risk to rising sea levels. The United Nations has projected that Maldives, which covers a stretch of sea roughly the size of South Carolina, but with a total land mass equal to that state’s capital city, Columbia, could be effectively underwater by 2100. .......(more)

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article61808187.html#storylink=cpy

February 23, 2016

There's a pile of Darrell Issa clogging up the commode

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told CNN on Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was “technically correct” when he said that President Barack Obama was not the first black president because he was “raised white.”

During an interview with Politico, Carson argued that he would be the first truly black president because he said that it was a “stretch” to claim President Obama “identifies with the experience of black of Americans.”

“He’s an ‘African’ American. He was, you know, raised white,” Carson insisted.

On CNN’s New Day, host Chris Cuomo pointed out to Issa that the Republican Party faced challenges in the presidential race because of its tone.

“Is this the kind of tactic that your party should endorse?” Cuomo wondered. “He didn’t say this in the back of a car to a friend, he said it to an open audience.” ...................(more)


February 23, 2016

12-year-old girl shot through the stomach during Idaho militia meeting

[font size="1"]Brandon Curtiss (left) and other members of the III% Idaho group (Facebook)[/font]

The daughter of a militia member was shot and wounded Sunday after a local meeting of the III% Idaho group.

The 12-year-old girl, whose name was not released, was taken by helicopter to a hospital for treatment after the shooting at the Rupert Gun Range, reported the Twin Falls Times-News.

Her mother said the girl was in stable condition Monday morning, and the shooting remains under investigation.

It’s not clear who was handling the weapon when it fired, wounding the girl.

Brandon Curtiss, the president of the state III% militia group, provided some details about the girl and the shooting in a Facebook post seeking donations for the wounded child’s family.

He said militia group members wanted to take target practice after a county meeting of the militia group — which was involved in last month’s armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. ...............(more)


February 23, 2016

Backed by Airline Dollars, Congress Rejects Effort to Address Shrinking Legroom

(The Intercept) An amendment to address shrinking legroom for airline passengers was defeated recently by members of Congress fueled by campaign dollars from the airline industry.

An amendment proposed by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would have required the federal government to study the issue of shrinking legroom and allowed it to set a minimum dimension for commercial airline seats.

During the debate over the amendment in a House Transportation Committee hearing, members backed by the industry laughed the idea off.

“I see we have some different size seats here in the House,” joked Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill. “Mr. Chairman has a larger seat, do you think the House Administration Committee should study seat sizes here?”

Cohen was not amused. “We’re not in airplanes that are crashing and having 180 people trying to get off at one time to get to a ramp to save their life,” Cohen replied. “This is not about seats here, Mr. Davis. … This is not a funny issue.” ..............(more)


February 23, 2016

The Radical Work of Healing: Fania and Angela Davis on a New Kind of Civil Rights Activism

from YES! Magazine:

The Radical Work of Healing: Fania and Angela Davis on a New Kind of Civil Rights Activism
"Self-care and healing and attention to the body and the spiritual dimension—all of this is now a part of radical social justice struggles."

Sarah van Gelder posted Feb 18, 2016

Angela Davis and her sister Fania Davis were working for social justice before many of today’s activists were born. From their childhood in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, where their friends were victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, to their association with the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party, to their work countering the prison-industrial complex, their lives have centered on lifting up the rights of African Americans.

In 1969, Angela Davis was fired from her teaching position at UCLA because of her membership in the Communist Party. She was later accused of playing a supporting role in a courtroom kidnapping that resulted in four deaths. The international campaign to secure her release from prison was led by, among others, her sister Fania. Angela was eventually acquitted and continues to advocate for criminal justice reform.

Inspired by Angela’s defense attorneys, Fania became a civil rights lawyer in the late 1970s and practiced into the mid-1990s, when she enrolled in an indigenous studies program at the California Institute of Integral Studies and studied with a Zulu healer in South Africa. Upon her return, she founded Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth. Today, she is calling for a truth and reconciliation process focused on the historic racial trauma that continues to haunt the United States.


Angela: I think our notions of what counts as radical have changed over time. Self-care and healing and attention to the body and the spiritual dimension—all of this is now a part of radical social justice struggles. That wasn’t the case before.

And I think that now we’re thinking deeply about the connection between interior life and what happens in the social world. Even those who are fighting against state violence often incorporate impulses that are based on state violence in their relations with other people. ..................(more)


February 23, 2016

Robert Reich: The End of the Establishment?

by Robert Reich

The End of the Establishment?
Monday, February 22, 2016

Step back from the campaign fray for just a moment and consider the enormity of what’s already occurred.

A 74-year-old Jew from Vermont who describes himself as a democratic socialist, who wasn’t even a Democrat until recently, has come within a whisker of beating Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucus, routed her in the New Hampshire primary, and garnered over 47 percent of the caucus-goers in Nevada, of all places.

And a 69-year-old billionaire who has never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican Party has taken a commanding lead in the Republican primaries.

Something very big has happened, and it’s not due to Bernie Sanders’ magnetism or Donald Trump’s likeability.

It’s a rebellion against the establishment. ................(more)


February 23, 2016

That woman who was on with Ana....

.... has three brain cells, two of which are fighting each other.

February 23, 2016

I get the feeling Amy Goodman won't be asked back on CNN.....

because she speaks too much truth for them to handle. Keep on kicking that ass, Amy.

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