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Four Desperate Ways the Hardest Hit Are Coping with Economic Crisis

Via: Alternet

As the economy continues to tank in the wake of congressional budget showdowns and stock market crashes, stories of those hardest hit remain hidden from view. The unemployed and underemployed, the homeless and the hungry have all been relegated to the back pages of our local
newspapers; that is, if they are reported on at all.

As America’s economic disaster continues its destructive rampage throughout our communities, leaving behind record levels of unemployment, home foreclosures, mounting debt and unaffordable bills, how are those on the edge of the economy coping?

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Titles only, you can read the details on the attached Link.

1) Skipping Meals: Not Just for Adults Anymore

2) Doubling Up and Overcrowding

3) Postponing Retirement ’til Death? 

4) Suicide Amidst Financial Hopelessness and Desperation

 http://www.alternet.org/story/152099/4_desperate_ways_the_hardest_hit_are_coping_with_economic_crisis/?page=3

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Let me add, two more:

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5) Country wrestles with spike in food stamps

Via: Reuters

Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, Calif., but her wages aren’t enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son.   

Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation.

Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That’s an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44230330/ns/business-personal_finance/

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6) Social Security disability on verge of insolvency

Via: GazetteXtra.com

Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security’s disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can’t find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants — many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved — and worsening the financial problems of a program that’s been running in the red for years.

New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts.

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“It’s primarily economic desperation,” Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said in an interview. “People on the margins who get bad news in terms of a layoff and have no other place to go and they take a shot at disability.”

http://gazettextra.com/news/2011/aug/21/social-security-disability-verge-insolvency/

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August 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘the evolution of a smile’

Via: Imgur

http://imgur.com/gallery/

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Question:  Is it possible to look at this without smiling?

Answer:  Hmmm, don’t think so.

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August 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

‘History is Not Your Therapist’ – James Howard Kunstler

Via: Clusterfuck Nation

I suppose we’ll know in a few hours whether Colonel Muammar Gaddafi gets hung out to dry, Mussolini-style, from a lamp-post, or is mercifully handed a one way ticket to Palookaville, a.k.a. The Hague, where old despots go to eat French fries with mayonnaise and be judged.

The rebels celebrating in Tripoli’s main square looked a tad ticked off about all the trouble it took to pry the old rascal off his throne. Over in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, the ophthalmologist who rules the place, must be following developments with a keen interest. (Perhaps he will hastily decide to re-open his medical practice in, say, Iraq.)

Despite the bubbling of CNN news-readers, I suggest that we Westerners hold our applause until the world gets a clue as to who or what will govern Libya (or Syria, in the event).

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Besides, we have a sort of Man-Who-Would-Be-Gaddafi fresh out of the woodwork right here in the USA. I speak of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Bush-Without-a-Brain clone who pulled off a kind of “hat-trick” of cretinism last week by:
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1.) announcing his disbelief in climate change science
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2.) announcing his disbelief in evolution science
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3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (photo: third from left. Or the 4th? whatever)
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The nation has not seen such a puffed up rogue take the stage since the days of Huey Long, but the rural idiocy that saturated Louisiana in the 1930s has finally seeped all over the country so that even people in once-literate Minnesota are represented by reality-averse evangelical maniacs.
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Candidates like Perry and Bachmann make a plain vanilla narcissist like Sarah Palin look at least capable of running a student council. What a low moment in America’s history.
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Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s room for the bar to go further down.
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You can read more of James Howard Kunstler’s amazing writing, HERE:
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http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/08/history-is-not-your-therapist.html#more
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August 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Bachmann, Palin, Perry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlie Chaplin

Via: Retrogasm

http://retrogasm.tumblr.com/

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August 23, 2011 Posted by | celebs | , , | Leave a comment

yabba dabba dumb

Via: UPI.com

A Michigan man was arrested for trying to stop his pickup truck with his  foot, police say.

The unnamed 25-year-old Roseville man was arrested Wednesday and cited for  reckless driving, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The man told police he was just trying to make it home from work. He knew his  brakes didn’t work, so he was stopping his truck with his foot out the door, a  la cartoon caveman character Fred Flintstone.

The man was driving on a suspended license.

His foot failed as a brake, however, and the man ran a stop light and hit  four cars, WDIV-TV of Detroit reported.

http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2011/08/21/Man-tries-to-use-foot-as-brake-arrested/UPI-25731313978989/#ixzz1VnWDnLxT

btw – 2.5 miles – 40 mph

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YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7BsaARHlr0

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August 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rick ‘Big-hair’ Perry Oddly Finds Social Security Less Unconstitutional Than LAST WEEK

Via: Wonkette

Rick Perry’s Texas conservative Jeebus freak routine includes some anti-establishment trailer park teabagger romance novel he released last year called “Fed Up!”

One of the book’s themes is a general contempt for Social Security and social safety net programs for the elderly — typical polite parlor chat in rich white Southern homes, but not a concept suitable for a nation of older voters who have seen their pension funds and 401ks fed cyanide margaritas throughout the recession.

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WSJ Washington Wire blog:

[Perry] suggested the program’s creation violated the Constitution. The program was put in place, “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government,” he wrote, comparing the program to a “bad disease” that has continued to spread. Instead of “a retirement system that is no longer set up like an illegal Ponzi scheme,” he wrote, he would prefer a system that “will allow individuals to own and control their own retirement.”

But since jumping into the 2012 GOP nomination race on Saturday, Mr. Perry has tempered his Social Security views. His communications director, Ray Sullivan, said Thursday that he had “never heard” the governor suggest the program was unconstitutional. (read, maybe?)

Not only that, Mr. Sullivan said, but “Fed Up!” is not meant to reflect the governor’s CURRENT VIEWS on how to fix the program.

http://wonkette.com/451707/rick-perry-strangely-finds-social-security-less-unconstitutional-than-last-week

August 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012, GOP morons, Perry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re No. 1! – – – no, no, I mean, We’re No. 28!

‘While Others Expand School Year, U.S. States Shrink It’

Via: LezGetReal

Facing budget problems, over 120 school districts in 20 states have chosen to shrink the academic schedule to a four-day week.

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The states where this has been implemented include Texas, Idaho, Colorado, Minnisota, Montana and New Mexico. The cost savings come primarily in busing, fuel, support staff and operational costs of the buildings.

South Dakota’s Education Secretary Melody Schopp, says that schools that have switched to four days have not suffered in achievement tests. That doesn’t really say much since we have learned that the No Child Left Behind testing systems have accomplished nothing but shifting school systems to teaching to the tests.

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Heaven forbid we should eliminate a few tax breaks for the rich to keep our schools competitive with the emerging world. Our disjointed, fractured school systems are already doing a lousy job of educating our children, so why not make it harder for them to compete in a global economy.

If one believed in conspiracy theories, one could begin to see a pattern here – first downgrade workers’ expectations for pay and benefits, then downgrade their children’s educations so that when the rising middle classes of former third-world countries become too expensive, companies can return to America for super cheap labor. First, they ship our jobs to Nicaragua, then they turn us into Nicaragua.

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Irene, South Dakota, is going to save about $50,000 a year, which will allow them to keep a vocational education program that would have had to be scraped. Most four-day systems have classes from 8 a.m. to around 3:30 or 3:45 p.m. daily. They will retain the traditional school year with a full summer vacation. The normal 180-day school year will be reduced to 144 days.

CHINA –  The Chinese summer vacation is only six weeks, not ten, but summer vacation is spent in summer classes or studying for entrance exams for university. The school day runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a two hour lunch/recess break. That means a seven and a half hour day, so around the same amount of time daily, but an additional day. Class size is 21 students and computer to student ratio is 1:2. Language and math skills are tested yearly and passage is required for advancement.

AUSTRALIA – Two hundred days per year in four terms each lasting 9 to 11 weeks with two weeks vacation between terms. School day is 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., class size is 18 and computer to student ratio is 1:3.

SOUTH KOREA – the two school terms run March to July and September to February. Each day is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with enrichments and activities into the evening. Special classes are held on Saturdays. Beginning in third grade, students are taught English.

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U.S.:

4th grade – 12th

8th grade  – 28th

http://lezgetreal.com/2011/08/while-others-expand-school-year-u-s-states-shrink-it/

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And guess what?

We’ve got nowhere to go, but DOWN!

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August 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment