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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,005

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Americans on Wrong Side of Pay Gap Run Out of Means to Cope

Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.

As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.

Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.

“We’ve exhausted our coping mechanisms,” said Alan Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey and former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “They weren’t sustainable.”



"They weren't sustainable" now who would have guessed that one .... coming out of Bloomberg, no less ...

Happy New Year, Earth, Happy New Year ...

NASA’s Juno spacecraft snapped this portrait of Earth on Oct. 9, 2013 as it used the home planet to gain some gravitational energy and slingshot itself toward Jupiter. I thought it would be a terrific image to finish the year with here at ImaGeo.

On its way past Earth, Juno received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 miles per hour (3.9 kilometers per second). But before the spacecraft bid adieu, South America posed for the JunoCam.

Juno will reach Jupiter in July, 2016 and will circle the giant gaseous planet for a year, snapping photographs and taking a variety of measurements. Here’s a summary from NASA of what Juno is designed to do:


Study: Happiness makes us feel warm all over

Do you feel red-faced when you're angry or embarrassed? Tight in the chest when you're anxious? Or butterflies in your stomach when you're in love?

It turns out our emotions are directly linked to sensations in specific parts of our bodies, according to a recent study by a team of Finnish researchers.

In five experiments, 700 online participants from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan were given outlines of a body and asked to color in the regions where they felt warmer or cooler in certain body parts in response to 13 emotions, including anger, fear, surprise, happiness and depression.

(Spend five minutes to take the test yourself.)

"When we first plotted the maps, it was like, wow, all the different emotions are so different," said Lauri Nummenmaa, one of the study's researchers and a professor at Aalta University in Finland.


The 124 states of America

Secessionist movements are all the rage these days. A handful of counties in Colorado tried to secede from the rest of the state earlier this year. There's an attempt to create the State of Jefferson (northern California/southern Oregon) via ballot initiative in 2014. And there's plenty more.

What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded? Well, Mansfield University geography professor Andrew Shears built a map to answer that question. (It covers secession movements through the end of 2011.) His 124 states of America is below.

Click the map to enlarge it.


It's official: Pope has not abolished sin, says Vatican

Source: Reuters/Yahoo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican felt compelled on Tuesday to deny that Pope Francis had "abolished sin", after a well-known Italian intellectual wrote that he had effectively done so through his words and gestures.

The singular exchange began on Sunday when Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who writes opinion pieces for the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper, published an article titled "Francis' Revolution: He has abolished sin".

Scalfari, who held a long private conversation with the pope earlier this year and wrote about it several times, concluded in the complex, treatise-like article that Francis believed sin effectively no longer existed because God's mercy and forgiveness were "eternal".

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio that "this affirmation that the pope has abolished sin" was wrong.

Read more: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/39-official-pope-not-abolished-sin-says-vatican-102908946.html

Now to all you non-sinning DUers, you knew this was true all along ...

Obama’s Defining Fight: How He Will Take On the NSA’s Surveillance State in 2014

Before he left for Hawaii, the president was sending signals that government surveillance programs need an overhaul to restore the public’s faith on issues of national security.

Before President Obama left for his 17-day vacation in Hawaii, White House officials made it clear that his holiday reading would consist of a lot more than beach novels to escape the stresses of Washington. He'd also be studying a 300-page report on how to rein in the government's controversial surveillance programs that had just been delivered to him by a high-level panel of experts.

Sure, Obama has gotten in plenty of rounds of golf with his presidential posse, as well as impromptu trips to shaved ice joints and leisurely strolls along the islands' stunning beaches with his family. But weighing on him throughout the winter getaway has been one of the most consequential national security decisions of his presidency: whether to adopt a set of recommendations that would represent the most dramatic curbing of the intelligence community's eavesdropping powers since the Vietnam war.

This has been an especially rough year for Obama, with the government shutdown, brinksmanship over the debt ceiling, a domestic agenda that largely ground to a halt, and the famously troubled health-care rollout. But no issue has created more sustained pain for the administration than the torrent of leaks about the government's electronic spying programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden .


I would have to say Great social coverage in France ... and that includes more than healthcare ...

An associates mother in law who resides in France and is elderly became sick and feeble ... all her healthcare, nursing home, and assisted living expenses paid for, not a single dime out of her pocket ... and the care is excellent with the home she lives in being on the coast ... almost spa like living ...

In contrast to my father who is 93 and a couple of years ago we were talking about him having to someday go to a nursing home or assisted living ... well, he checked into it and like the other 99% of Americans could not afford either one ... so lately, because he is a veteran of the big war ... he has looked into getting benefits from the VA ... he says to me the other day that he not only can get healthcare benefits but will not have to worry about a nursing home or assisted living ... now the story turns out OK for him, but if you are not a veteran in the USA, you might as well be a piece of trash to our insurance laden medical system today ...

6 year old drumming prodigy shreds "Welcome to the Jungle"

It won't be long before the victims of climate change make the west pay

Would you enjoy the cosiness and warmth of Christmas with your children or grandchildren just that little bit less if you knew that other people's children were dying because of it? More than four million children under five years old are now at risk of acute malnutrition in the Sahel, an area of the world that is one of the clearest victims of the rich world's addiction to fossil fuels.

About 18 million people in the Sahel – the vulnerable pan-African strip of land that runs from Senegal to Sudan along the southern edge of the Sahara – faced famine last year. Life has never been easy there. Its land is poor. Its people are often semi-nomadic, moving their animals between the grasslands. But science is increasingly pointing a hard finger at those to blame for the persistence of Sahelian drought – and it is us.

This is an ineluctable consequence of improving the computer models of climate change. Of course, there are still large uncertainties. But what has long persuaded me of the strength of the scientific case for human-induced climate change is that climate-sceptic scientists have not managed to build a model that explains global warming without human-induced effects. The human hand is indispensable in understanding what has happened.

There are legitimate doubts about the scale of the impact, and about other offsetting factors that may reduce human-induced global warming. But what should be a wake-up call is science's growing ability to highlight the blame for particular extreme events, and not just in the Sahel.


French ‘millionaire’s tax’ gets constitutional go-ahead

Source: Today

PARIS — France’s Constitutional Council gave the green light on Sunday to a ‘millionaire’s tax’, to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1 million euros (S$1.75 million) a year.

The measure, introduced in line with a pledge by President Francois Hollande to make the rich do more to pull France out of crisis, has infuriated business leaders and soccer clubs, which at one point threatened to go on strike.

It was originally designed as a 75 per cent tax to be paid by high earners on the part of their incomes exceeding 1 million euros, but the council rejected this, saying 66 per cent was the legal maximum for individuals.

The Socialist government has since reworked the tax to levy it on companies instead, raising the ire of entrepreneurs.

Read more: http://www.todayonline.com/world/europe/french-millionaires-tax-gets-constitutional-go-ahead

Other developed countries can tax the wealthy, why can't the USA???????????
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