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Profile Information

Name: Steve
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: US
Current location: US
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 26,509

Journal Archives

pedantic question: Nazis or neo-Nazis ?

Unless someone was active in the NSDAP before it was disbanded, I always say neo-Nazis. Is this correct usage ? /pedantic mode off

Good morning all, hope you all have a lovely day! (or evening if you're across the globe)

It's a lovely day here in Florida. No alligators in sight. Yet. *goes to look*

Khamenei slams Republican letter on Iran, hits at U.S. 'backstabbing'


(Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader hit out on Thursday at a letter by U.S. Republican senators threatening to undo any nuclear deal between Washington and Tehran, saying he was worried because the United States was known for "backstabbing", Mehr news agency reported.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei added at a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and senior clerics that whenever negotiators made progress, the Americans became "harsher, tougher and coarser", Mehr reported.

The letter signed by 47 Republican senators warned Iran that any nuclear deal made with U.S. President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remained in office, in an unusual intervention into U.S. foreign policy-making.

Mehr quoted Khamenei as saying: "Of course I am worried, because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and backstabbing."

Italian village reportedly sees more than 8 feet of snow in under 24 hours


An intense storm that passed through Italy last week reportedly dumped a phenomenal 8.4 feet of snow, or 100.8 inches, on the alpine village of Capracotta, Italy, in just 18 hours. If confirmed through reviews by the World Meteorological Organization, the snowfall could rival or break the all-time world 24-hour snowfall record, which was 90.6 inches (about 7.5 feet) in Mount Ibuki, Japan, set in 1927

According to the European weather website MeteoWeb and cited by the Telegraph newspaper, the storm brought life in the village to a grinding halt, outdoing other historic snowfalls that have also hit that community of 1,400. Capracotta is in the Apennines Mountains of central and southern Italy.

The dumping of snow — which is the equivalent of getting the average annual snowfall total of Buffalo, New York, except in just one day's time — forced residents to climb out of windows and resort to traveling via snowshoes and skis. "Other locals had to dig tunnels from their front doors in order to be able to leave their homes," the paper reported.

Although many people may not associate Italy with historic snowstorms, the high elevations of the country can tally up some phenomenal snow totals under the right conditions. In this case, cold northeasterly winds on the north side of a strong storm system picked up moisture from the Adriatic Sea and shoved it toward the higher elevations of central and southern Italy.

Campaigners get Facebook to banish 'feeling fat' emoticon


On top of not being an actual emotion, "feeling fat" is no longer a Facebook emoticon. Following a campaign from anti-body-shaming group Endangered Bodies, Facebook has removed the emoji from its list of status update options, according to the Washington Post. The social network said "we've heard from our community that listing 'feeling fat' as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders." In a Change.org petition that garnered 17,000 signatures, Endangered Bodies said the emoticon is "making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight... all (we) ask is that it stop endorsing self-destructive thoughts through seemingly harmless emojis."

Following the emoji's removal, the woman who spearheaded the campaign said "this success shows us that people together can challenge the cultural messages that are so damaging to our ability to love ourselves and live comfortably in our bodies." However, while "fat" is now gone from the status update section, Facebook seems to have kept the double-chinned emoticon and replaced "fat" with "stuffed." Since there's already a "feeling full" emoticon, we're not sure about the need for both.

Scorecard on housing for the last decade: Renter households up 10 million, homeowner households down

This article is several weeks old, but still very relevant I think.


The current homeownership rate has fallen to where it was two decades ago. The demand for home buying from traditional buyers is simply not there. Recent surveys find that the majority of Millennials would rather rent than buy. This is the group that will need to pick up the slack moving forward should the housing market return to any normal environment. But what is truly normal at this point? Over the last decade we have added 10 million renter households while actually losing 1 million owner occupied properties. The recent buying spree of 2013 and 2014 came in the form of investor demand. Real estate has become simply another speculative silo for Wall Street to speculate on. And many buy it up. Across the nation, home prices with current interest rates seem reasonable with the median priced home running close to $200,000. So why is the trend still pushing towards more people renting? Is this simply a nationwide trend or is this also impacting high cost states?

The growth of rental nation

People are hardwired to look forward. History is for nostalgia and past financial events are for economics classes. It doesn’t surprise me when you look at credit repair forums and people that lost their home to foreclosure during housing bubble 1.0 are eager to jump on the bandwagon once again. Yet the habits that caused the problems back then still exist. One dirty secret that is rarely discussed is the bulk of the 7,000,000+ foreclosures came in the form of vanilla flavored 30-year fixed rate mortgages. People just leveraged too much for the income coming in. A recession was enough to tip the scales. And that is why we now have 1 million fewer homeowners than we did a decade ago:

more at link

Sources: State Dept. hack the 'worst ever


(CNN)Overlooked in the controversy over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, is the fact that suspected Russian hackers have bedeviled State Department's email system for much of the past year and continue to pose problems for technicians trying to eradicate the intrusion.

Federal law enforcement, intelligence and congressional officials briefed on the investigation say the hack of the State email system is the "worst ever" cyberattack intrusion against a federal agency. The attackers who breached State are also believed to be behind hacks on the White House's email system, and against several other federal agencies, the officials say.

The issue is relevant because one criticism of the Clinton private email use is that it was likely less secure than emailing within the State Department's system. But the hack shows that State's system has major security issues. The State system, investigators believe, was compromised in the past year, likely after Clinton left the State Department.

Last November, the State Department shut down its email system over a weekend to try to improve security and block the intruders.

My question is, when are we going to get heart-attack serious about security for our government servers ? This is NOT a new issue.

University of Oklahoma minorities say 'casual racism' permeates their lives


Naome Kadira walks with the practiced gait of a beauty pageant veteran, which she is, and speaks the language of the social justice activist — validation, micro-aggression, othering.

But the University of Oklahoma junior with the red streak in her hair wasn't always so self-assured.

There were darker times, especially in her freshman year, Kadira said, when she never felt so different and so alone.

It's part of the black experience at the university, Kadira said, a notion that you're always outnumbered and out of place, forever identified by the color of your skin.

more at link above

Steinem, Other Women Announce Plan to Walk Korean DMZ


Making a dramatic statement in Korean relations, Gloria Steinem and other prominent women on Wednesday announced plans for a rare walk across the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to call for reunification.

The DMZ is the world's most fortified border, with the two countries still technically at war. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers face off across the heavily mined zone.

Organizers of the effort called WomenCrossDMZ.org on Wednesday said they hope for 30 women, including two Nobel Peace laureates, to cross from North Korea to South Korea on May 24, which is International Women's Day for Disarmament.

The walk also marks the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean Peninsula.

Umiat, AK: -43 F, hallelujah, winter finally arrived in Alaska!

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