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Gender: Female
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2003, 02:04 PM
Number of posts: 73,876

Journal Archives

WEE Honor Our Fallen: Memorial Day, 2014


Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

If it weren't for them, we would not be here today. Let their sacrifices not be in vain. Fight injustice, corruption, and the 1%, who would throw away our young people for greed.

Weekend Economists Down Under May 23-26, 2014

I don't know much about Australia.

Given my abhorrence of heat, my reluctance to get on an airplane for any length of time, let alone two days, and my refusal to buy a passport at the outrageous prices current (not discounting the fact that my country might not even let me leave, for some insanely paranoid reason to be disclosed in 60 years or so when all the idiots are dead, or LET ME BACK IN, OR JUST RANDOMLY JAIL), I probably never will see it in person.

No offense, mates, but there are places I would suffer to visit. Australia hasn't made that list, yet. Give me a good reason and that could change.

But in the meanwhile, let us gather what intelligence we may on the Land Down Under....

The Crocodile Dundee movie series is as close as most of us will get to an actual tour of Oz, as it is also known. We will include some of that, too.

Ayers Rock (Uluru) Sunrise, Northern Territory, Australia


FOR TV TOURS OF AUSTRALIA, VISIT THIS WEBSITE: http://tours-tv.com/en/australia_landscape

Giving that article the NSS Award--My First Such Recognition!

Those are jokes ABOUT engineers

Engineering jokes consist of stuff like the pornographic interpretations in Maxwell's equations:

which leads to this:

And lastly, the Engineer's Motto:

Cool T-shirts from http://www.zazzle.com/physics+tshirts

Correct--DU is now a fact-free and history-free zone, for the most part

It's tiring and ultimately pointless to try to bring the DU awareness level up to something approaching the basic knowledge one should have learned in history and economics classes.....

Of course, after Reagan, there were no such things....only indoctrination classes.

Facts are stubborn things. Reagan called them "stupid things". The rest is "history."

Weekend Economists Cruising the Bounding Wave May 16-18, 2014

I know I promised to be here on time (whatever that is) but something happened:

This Weekend is all Fuddnik's fault. He suggested it when I mentioned (complained extensively) about the amount of rain falling on my fair state of Michigan. At least the Great Lakes will start filling up, again.

What about that Noah fellow, and his Ark, and the Flood? Any basis for thinking there's even a grain of truth to it?

From the sociological/anthropological point of view, the Flood is a recurring theme in oral tradition and literature.

A flood myth or deluge myth is a narrative in which a great flood, usually sent by a deity or deities, destroys civilization, often in an act of divine retribution. Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primeval waters found in certain creation myths, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero, who strives to ensure this rebirth. The flood myth motif is widespread among many cultures as seen in the Mesopotamian flood stories, the Puranas, Deucalion in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative, and in the lore of the K'iche' and Maya peoples in Mesoamerica, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe of Native Americans in North America, the Muisca people, and Cańari Confederation, in South America.

The Mesopotamian flood stories concern the epics of Ziusudra, Gilgamesh, and Atrahasis. In the Sumerian King List, it relies on the flood motif to divide its history into preflood and postflood periods. The preflood kings had enormous lifespans, whereas postflood lifespans were much reduced. The Sumerian flood myth found in the Deluge tablet was the epic of Ziusudra, who heard the Divine Counsel to destroy humanity, in which he constructed a vessel that delivered him from great waters. In the Atrahasis version, the flood is a river flood.

Assyriologist George Smith translated the Babylonian account of the Great Flood in the 19th century. Further discoveries produced several versions of the Mesopotamian flood myth, with the account closest to that in Genesis 6–9 found in a 700 BCE Babylonian copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh. In this work, the hero, Gilgamesh, meets the immortal man Utnapishtim, and the latter describes how the god Ea instructed him to build a huge vessel in anticipation of a deity-created flood that would destroy the world. The vessel would save Utnapishtim, his family, his friends, and the animals.

In Hindu mythology, texts such as the Satapatha Brahmana mention the puranic story of a great flood, wherein the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu warns the first man, Manu, of the impending flood, and also advises him to build a giant boat.

In the Genesis flood narrative, Yahweh decides to flood the earth because of the depth of the sinful state of mankind. Righteous Noah is given instructions to build an ark. When the ark is completed, Noah, his family, and representatives of all the animals of the earth are called upon to enter the ark. When the destructive flood begins, all life outside of the ark perishes. After the waters recede, all those aboard the ark disembark and have God's promise that He will never judge the earth with a flood again. He gives the rainbow as the sign of this promise.

In Plato's Timaeus, Timaeus says that because the Bronze race of Humans had been making wars constantly Zeus got angered and decided to punish humanity by a flood. Prometheus the Titan knew of this and told the secret to Deucalion, advising him to build an ark in order to be saved. After 9 nights and days the water started receding and the ark was landed at Mount Parnassus.


Put on your hip boots and let's explore the Flood(s) and the floods of fact, fiction and gossip that constitute news on our political economic front.

This ark, located an hour south of Amsterdam, is a replica of Noah's Biblical boat.

Any domestic job growth would come from cheap energy

Because cheap energy would lower the cost of everything, thus freeing up resources for domestic manufacturing. Service work would also become more profitable if gas didn't cost nearly $4/gallon and we could drive and ship electric instead of gas and diesel.

And all of this would mean funds to rebuild the infrastructure and to go green in other aspects of our economy. Those jobs could go on for two generations, probably, if not more....that's how far behind we are.

And then, there would be the ultimate infrastructure/green/domestic work: recycling landfills, cleaning up toxic dumps, radiation, etc. Restoring the ecosystem will take more than a couple of generations, and it will require either outlawing or redefining corporations to be domestic servants, not global exploiters and destroyers of nations and people.

US Government's New Plan for Internet IDs Has Scary Implications


While internet activists are distracted with recent attacks on net neutrality, the government is quietly introducing an internet ID program in Pennsylvania and Michigan that — if eventually broadened as intended — would strip internet users of their privacy and rights. The program, named the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace,”¯ is starting small, consolidating accounts for public programs like welfare and health services. If the program were to stop at linking government accounts, it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal. The problem, however, is that United States officials are hoping that it’s the first step in a plan to make IDs that would be used uniformly throughout the entire internet. The government is championing the program as one that promotes “convenience.”¯ Certainly, it would be “convenient” for internet users to have a single log-in and password for every activity on the internet, but it’s far more “convenient” for the government to be able to keep tabs on everything you do, type, search for, view, and purchase with a single account to monitor.

Tech experts fret that a single ID would eliminate the rights of internet users. For example, anonymous commenting, an act protected by the Supreme Court as free speech, would disappear if web surfers were unable to comment anywhere without being logged in to their official, government-issued accounts. Furthermore, any semblance of internet privacy would be obliterated considering how easily people’s activity could be tracked. The decision to initially target people in poverty for this type of system is hardly surprising since they are less likely to take issue with privacy concerns with more pressing matters taking priority in their lives. The other notion that a single ID would somehow add to cybersecurity seems similarly ludicrous. Anytime large amounts of people’s essential information is stored in a single place, it attracts hackers. Considering the number of major credit card breaches in the past year, it’s not hard to imagine that datacenters housing passwords for all aspects of people’s lives would become prime targets for hackers looking to commit fraud.

The timing of this implementation is even more questionable. Given the public backlash against the NSA, it’s especially strange that the U.S. government is already rolling out a new invasive form of internet surveillance. However, officials insist that Americans will be protected from government intrusion, by giving control of the IDs to corporations outside of the government.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that much more comforting to know that a private tech company like Google or Comcast would have that access to all that information instead. Besides, given the obvious unholy alliance between government and corporations, what’s the difference there anyway? Precedent has shown us that judges¯ are willing to blindly grant government agencies access to this type of information 99.9% of the time.

Obama doesn't strike me as a man capable of regrets

It would require one to NOT "look forward", for one thing. One has to reflect on past decisions and the outcomes generated, to reflect.

(I could make a joke about vampires not having reflections...but to my knowledge, Mr. Obama only ASSOCIATES with blood suckers like Jamie Dimon, Timmy Geithner, etc. No one has a shred of evidence that he actually partook of the sacrifice, himself. he's more like the pack of hounds that flushes the game for the hunters.)

Weekend Economists Celebrate M-O-T-H-E-R, May 9-11, 2014


"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

- Howard Johnson

There's nothing as prone to sentimentality as the abstract concepts of Motherhood and Mother.

The Catholic Church knew this well, and exploited the Madonna concept for all it was worth, equating their Mother of God with all Other Mothers of Other Gods, to facilitate conversion of the faithful pagans and propagation of the Faithful.

Patriarchy also exploited Motherhood, as the reason why women were not equal to men, and therefore "protected", "restricted", and ultimately, exploited.

And then Freud came around and really stirred the pot. But that's another story.

In my own experiences with motherhood, I never found that Motherhood was ever honored except in the breach. A court will rip children away from their mothers at the slightest provocation or pretext. Attaining Motherhood means only that one takes on additional burdens for an undetermined length of time, with no guaranty of support, monetary or otherwise.

Many fertile women are taking the easy way out, and forgoing the pleasures of children entirely.

Women by Number of Children Ever Born by Race, Hispanic Origin, Nativity Status, Marital Status, and Age: June 2010

Total women Total women----------- 0---- 1---- 2--- 3---- 4--- 5-6-- 7+
All Marital Classes
15 to 44 years 61,481 100.0 47.1 16.9 20.4 10.4 3.4 1.5 0.3

.15 to 19 years 10,273 100.0 94.6 4.4 0.6 0.3 - - -
.20 to 24 years 10,493 100.0 70.5 18.1 9.0 2.0 0.3 0.1 -
.25 to 29 years 10,501 100.0 47.6 22.7 18.7 7.8 2.3 0.8 0.1
.30 to 34 years 9,923 100.0 29.7 19.2 29.2 14.3 5.2 2.1 0.4
.35 to 39 years 9,917 100.0 19.7 18.5 32.6 19.7 5.9 3.1 0.4
.40 to 44 years 10,374 100.0 18.8 18.5 33.3 19.1 6.8 2.7 0.8

Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women with Advanced Degrees

By Gretchen Livingston and D’Vera Cohn

I. Overview

Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees.

The most educated women still are among the most likely never to have had a child. But in a notable exception to the overall rising trend, in 2008, 24% of women ages 40-44 with a master’s, doctoral or professional degree had not had children, a decline from 31% in 1994.

By race and ethnic group, white women are most likely not to have borne a child. But over the past decade, childless rates have risen more rapidly for black, Hispanic and Asian women, so the racial gap has narrowed. By marital status, women who have never married are most likely to be childless, but their rates have declined over the past decade, while the rate of childlessness has risen for the so-called ever-married — those who are married or were at one time.

Among all women ages 40-44, the proportion that has never given birth, 18% in 2008, has grown by 80% since 1976, when it was 10%. There were 1.9 million childless women ages 40-44 in 2008, compared with nearly 580,000 in 1976...


Let us consider what this means to the economy, on this special weekend.
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