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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 31,335

Journal Archives

Spain to lead Japan in global life expectancy, US continues to slide

People in Spain will live for 85.8 years on average, marginally edging out expected lifespans in Japan (85.7), Singapore (85.4) and Switzerland (85.2).

The United States will take the biggest drop in ranking of all high-income countries, falling from 43rd in 2016 to 64th by 2040, with an average life expectancy of 79.8.

The US will be overtaken by China, which rises 29 places to 39th in the table.

Spain is one of several European countries to offer tax-funded healthcare, with their healthcare system ranked as the seventh best in the world by the World Health Organization.


I was in Spain (Barcelona) in 2015 and remember how trim the locals were, and wondering how that could be, since the food was crazy delicious and there was a bar on every block. But people walked a lot. And everyone had good healthcare.

Houses intact after Hurricane Michael were often saved by low-cost reinforcements

The houses still standing in the storm-ravaged neighborhoods of Florida’s Panhandle are conspicuous for their presence. Sticking up from the rubble like one remaining tooth in a jawful of decay, each one is a haunting reminder of what used to exist around it.

In many cases, they were saved by additional strategically placed nails, some small metal connectors and window shutters that created a sealed package — low-cost reinforcements that determined whose home survived and whose was destroyed by the power of Hurricane Michael.

There are the five Habitat for Humanity houses in Panama City, a waterfront vacation home in Mexico Beach, a house built by a homeowner and a few of his church friends — modest structures that lost shingles and suffered water damage but stand largely untouched overlooking the wreckage of buildings that were shredded and ripped from their foundations.

“Often the difference between a roof that stays on and one that flies off is the connection method,” Chapman-Henderson said. “A handful of additional nails can mean the difference.”



President Jimmy Carter has been a strong proponent of Habitat for Humanity, and continues to do the physical work himself, alongside Rosalynn! True patriots!

Here's a nice summary of the Carters' work this year:

Study: Residents With Lower Incomes Pay a Higher Effective Tax Rate

States and localities are filling their coffers by disproportionately burdening lower-income residents, who are taxed at a higher effective rate than top earners, according to a studyreleased Wednesday by a tax policy group.

The 50-state analysis by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the lower one's income, the higher the effective overall state and local tax rate. The study includes sales taxes, excise taxes, user fees and income taxes. In fact, states which boast low income taxes are often the most likely to have systems that end up shifting the fiscal burden to lower-income residents, Carl Davis, one of the authors of the study, told reporters in a conference call.

Nationally, the people in the bottom 20 percent of earners face a state and local tax rate that is 50 percent higher than the top 1 percent of households, the study said. That does not mean lower-income people pay more in absolute dollars, only that their effective tax rates are higher. The national average effective state and local tax rate is 11.4 percent for the bottom quintile of taxpayers, compared to 7.4 percent for the top 1 percent of income earners, the study said.


Son in viral meme forgives mother for #HimToo tweet he says is a misrepresentation

On Monday night, a days-old tweet from Jon and Pieter's mother, who they are not identifying, began trending. The tweet said Pieter, 32, is no longer going on "solo dates" out of fear of false allegations of sexual misconduct being leveled against him.

"This is MY son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was #1 in A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won't go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo"

The tweet appeared to be referencing the political climate that engulfed Justice Brett Kavanaugh amid his confirmation hearings after he was accused of sexual misconduct, allegations he denied.

Jon said his mother — who has since deleted her account — has posted similarly untrue, yet benign, things in the past, like saying her sons were single when they were not, but this is the first time those posts have included a political message.

That was my Mom. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support#HimToo . I’m a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point. pic.twitter.com/yZFkEjyB6L

— Pieter Hanson (@Thatwasmymom) October 9, 2018


Reminder: Mazie Hirono has Stage 4 kidney cancer while fighting for us.

She was diagnosed in May of 2017. John McCain was not the only one with Stage 4 cancer to vote No on the GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare last year. As this graphic from last year so succinctly put it:

She is currently getting immunotherapy treatment for it instead of chemo, so her hair is not falling out and she appears to be tolerating it well. http://amp.timeinc.net/time/5280460/mazie-hirono-senate-donald-trump  She has not let her Stage 4 cancer stop her from fighting for us.

So when you're feeling down, think you can't keep up the fight, think of Mazie. If she can drag herself out of bed to fight, so can we!

Still waiting for that revolution Susan Sarandon was talking about.

Kavanaugh just lied that "Renate Alumni" in his yearbook meant "friendship."

Fuck you and your gaslighting bullshit, Kav. Everyone who went to high school knows what that meant. Why else do you think Renate was crushed when she recently learned about that passage in your yearbook? No one believes you and you just cemented the fact that you are a liar who insults our intelligence.

Here Comes The Change

An inspiring song of change, from Kesha of all people (she's changed a lot from the days she sang Tick Tock). Love how it motivates people to vote this November!

The 'But Kavanaugh Was in High School' Defense Is Gross

And here’s the thing: Even if it was high school, it was still wrong. As a culture, we need to stop acting like (white) teenage boys are somehow incapable of having a moral compass, and start taking responsibility for how we demonstrate to them what is right and wrong.

“But it’s high school” perpetuates a culture in which young women regularly experience traumatic violence and young men are ill-equipped to understand the consequences of their actions.

Yes, we all fuck up when we’re young. No, we do not all force ourselves sexually on other people. We need to be very clear about that behavior being categorically unacceptable. “He was just a kid” is not an excuse. He’s not a kid now. And we can all raise our kids better.

There is no reason I can think of for a young man to not understand that a girl who is screaming in fear beneath his body—to the point that he feels compelled to cover her mouth—is upset by what he is doing. Being drunk is not an excuse here.


Colin Kaepernick Was Right About Us

Colin Kaepernick was right about us, white America.

He was right to kneel because when he did, he fully exposed us.

He exposed us as we became viscerally disgusted, not by the reckless disregard of black lives, but by the earnest and open declaration of black grief at their premature passing.

He exposed us when we felt it was our right to tell another human being how to express their personal freedoms, during an anthem supposedly devoted to celebrating those personal freedoms.



Worthy of a slow, thoughtful read. It builds as it goes along. Not a long piece, but the 4-paragraph limit prevents me from doing it justice.
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