ONE IN EIGHT:
According to the NY Times, Food stamp usage is at the highest levels ever. For 36 million people, food stamps come in the form of a discreet little card that makes food shopping less of a hostile and humiliating experience. The article estimates that 20,000 recipients are added to the roll each day, as even working people are being added to the rolls.
Just for reference, here are the 2009 poverty guidelines.
And frankly that is good news. With this mess that we’re in, it is good to know that people can swallow their pride and get the services that they need to get through hard times, rather than giving up and doing something horrible.
Here is a great NYT article and Interactive map. But look particularly at the deep South, where the teabaggers rule. Also look at how it is for Black people in the land where equality was never all that. The map left off Hispanics for some reason.
THE SWISS VOTE TO BAN NEW MINARETS:
An AP article says that the right wing in Switzerland got what they wanted: a ban on more minarets for the 6 million or so Muslims, mostly from Yugoslavia, in Switzerland. The Swiss misses percieve that minarets are symbols of Islamic terrorism. The backlash? Islamic money! Lots of it comes through Switzerland.
Minarets, of course, are used for calls to prayer.
BLACK FRIDAY WORKED…ONLINE.
The pajama shoppers beat out the huddled masses with a 35% increase in spending, from $126 to 170 per order on average. There were 5.4 items in the virtual cart, compared to 4.6 last year. In the real, cold, cruel world, spending was up a pitiful .5%! For more, see the Chicago Times Article.
THE SUPER RICH DO PAY SOME TAXES:
Look at the property taxes for some of the posh joints around Chicago. Ouch! The Cook county taxes top out at over $300,000 for one joint that sounds like something out of a movie.
THE STORY ABOUT MEXICO:
Life might be fine in the mostly White, American enclaves that have built up in Mexico, but a war has definitely been going on. Over 9,000 have been killed since January, 2007, with the toll rising. The Mexican government has taken measures to increase security on the Mexican side of the border and to deploy 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police to 18 states.
There is literally a war going on, with American guns flowing South, while the drugs flow North. Meanwhile, everyone from business to the Catholic church takes the money and doesn’t bother to take a sniff of the cocaine residue.
A comprehensive article, with back articles, is available at the LA Times.
AHHH. SAY IT ISN’T SO!
Dubai is in trouble, debt wise. This is sad, considering that some of the greatest feats of marine/land engineering ever, with beautiful results for the marine life and ecology, were built there.
The island resort empire of Palm Island and the surrounding islands that were dredged from the bottom of the sea are at risk, now that Dubai has decided to put a hold on resolving it’s massive debt issues.
Years ago, the Emir of Dubai decided to take a massive risk on high priced tourism as a replacement for expected declines in oil revenue for the nation. This series of YouTube videos documents the incredible feats of engineering that made the projects a rousing success.
Kobe. Pau Gasol. That’s all. Nothing more to look at folks. Move on.
A 4 Karat Kobe Special. Tiger Woods allegedly had to go and get one.
A girl could do some facial lacerations with one of those things.