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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 67,786

Journal Archives

Americans’ Economic Outlook Plunges: Rosy scenario gets tangled up in reality


Americans’ Economic Outlook Plunges
by Wolf Richter • August 25, 2015

Rosy scenario gets tangled up in reality.


The rout in Chinese stocks, the deteriorating Chinese economy, the subsequent rout in US stocks, and nagging questions about the US economy – they all got blamed for the unceremonious collapse of the confidence Americans have in our rosy scenario.

It’s sinking in. Even NPR has been talking about it. Whatever you do, “don’t sell,” was their admonition today. Those kind of shows first thing in the morning don’t fit into our rosy scenario.

That scenario looked a lot rosier in early January, when after a long hard climb the economic confidence of Americans reached the highest level in the Index since Gallup started collecting the data on a weekly basis in 2008. At the time, Gallup credited lower gas prices for the miracle.

At +5 in January, the index wasn’t exactly wallowing in exuberance, given its theoretical range of +100 to -100 (it hit -65 during the Financial Crisis). But these folks don’t live in the Wall-Street economy. They struggle with their daily challenges in the real economy. And it’s tough out there.

Yet, even at that level in January, lousy as it was, it was practically exuberant compared to what it is today. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/08/25/americans-economic-outlook-plunges-since-july-2014-gallup/




U.K. Surveillance ‘Worse Than Orwell,’ Says U.N. Privacy Chief



Joseph Cannataci, the newly appointed U.N. special rapporteur on digital privacy, has called the U.K.’s oversight of surveillance “a rather bad joke at its citizens’ expense,” describing the abuse of privacy rights as worse than anything George Orwell imagined in his dystopian novel “1984.”

Speaking to The Guardian, Cannataci said: “... at least Winston was able to go out in the countryside and go under a tree and expect there wouldn’t be any screen, as it was called. Whereas today there are many parts of the English countryside where there are more cameras than George Orwell could ever have imagined. So the situation in some cases is far worse already.”

The article continues:

Appointed after concern about surveillance and privacy following the Edward Snowden revelations, Cannataci agreed that his notion of a new universal law on surveillance could embarrass those who may not sign up to it. “Some people may not want to buy into it,” he acknowledged. “But you know, if one takes the attitude that some countries will not play ball, then, for example, the chemical weapons agreement would never have come about.”

Cannataci came into his new post in July after a controversial spat involving the first-choice candidate, Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, who the Germans in particular thought might not be tough enough on the Americans.

But for Cannataci – well-known for having a mind of his own – it is not America but Britain that he singles out as having the weakest oversight in the western world: “That is precisely one of the problems we have to tackle. That if your oversight mechanism’s a joke, and a rather bad joke at its citizens’ expense, for how long can you laugh it off as a joke?”

He said proper oversight is the only way of progressing, and hopes more people will think about and vote for privacy in the UK. “And that is where the political process comes in,” he said, “because can you laugh off the economy and the National Health Service? Not in the UK election, if you want to survive.” ..............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/uk_surveillance_worse_than_orwell_says_un_privacy_chief_20150825






Americans’ Economic Outlook Plunges: Rosy scenario gets tangled up in reality


Americans’ Economic Outlook Plunges
by Wolf Richter • August 25, 2015

Rosy scenario gets tangled up in reality.


The rout in Chinese stocks, the deteriorating Chinese economy, the subsequent rout in US stocks, and nagging questions about the US economy – they all got blamed for the unceremonious collapse of the confidence Americans have in our rosy scenario.

It’s sinking in. Even NPR has been talking about it. Whatever you do, “don’t sell,” was their admonition today. Those kind of shows first thing in the morning don’t fit into our rosy scenario.

That scenario looked a lot rosier in early January, when after a long hard climb the economic confidence of Americans reached the highest level in the Index since Gallup started collecting the data on a weekly basis in 2008. At the time, Gallup credited lower gas prices for the miracle.

At +5 in January, the index wasn’t exactly wallowing in exuberance, given its theoretical range of +100 to -100 (it hit -65 during the Financial Crisis). But these folks don’t live in the Wall-Street economy. They struggle with their daily challenges in the real economy. And it’s tough out there.

Yet, even at that level in January, lousy as it was, it was practically exuberant compared to what it is today. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/08/25/americans-economic-outlook-plunges-since-july-2014-gallup/





Justin Bieber Look-Alike Reported Missing In West Hollywood


Justin Bieber Look-Alike Reported Missing In West Hollywood
Tobias Strebel spent almost $100,000 on plastic surgery to look like the pop star.




A man who famously spent almost $100,000 in plastic surgeries to look like Justin Bieber has been reported missing.

Tobias Strebel, 35, disappeared on Aug. 18, according to ABC 7. He was last seen in West Hollywood, and could be driving a 2009 Toyota Camry, police say.

Strebel's friends are worried.

"This is very unusual for him to be missing. He hasn't done any, not shown up for no reason, no note or anything," Mel Espinoza told the station.

The Los Angeles Police Department doesn't consider the disappearance to be a "critical missing" case because Strebel isn't a minor and doesn't suffer from a medical condition, Fox 11 Los Angeles reports. ...............(more)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justin-bieber-look-alike-reported-missing-in-west-hollywood_55db6c55e4b08cd3359cda9c?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&kvcommref=mostpopular




Why Your 401K Is a Scam!


from Huffington Post:


James Altucher
Author and Entrepreneur

Why Your 401K Is a Scam!
Posted: 08/20/2015 12:46 am EDT Updated: 08/20/2015 10:59 am EDT


I hate writing about finance. The most violent, ugly people in the world work in the traditional finance industry.

I write something and instead of responding with a well-reasoned argument, they write things like "James Altucher is a wacko" or "James Altucher is a scumbag".

I've written for or appeared on the Wall St Journal, the Financial Times, CNBC, Fox Business, ABC, and many other finance sites. I've run hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, I've day traded, i've run a VC fund.

.....(snip)......

Almost 100% of financial journalism is BS, written by people who don't know anything about finance.

Almost everyone writing in the finance world has an agenda.

.....(snip).....

4) Assumption on market returns.

The market has returned somewhere between 7-10% per year depending on what time period you look at, what index, etc.

The average investor has returned 1.8% per year over the past 40 years. The psychology of investing is very difficult. In 2009, many investors pulled out of the market, right before a 100% upward move.

And when I say, "many investors", I'm not talking about you - I'm talking about the best mutual fund managers in the business. .................(more)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-altucher/why-your-401k-is-a-scam_b_8012610.html




Chicago Parents Enter Week 2 of Hunger Strike Protesting Corporate Ed Reform and Dyett HS Closure


(In These Times) As schools across Chicago begin the cleaning and organizing process leading up to the first day of school on September 8, one will stay shuttered. Dyett High School, in on the edge of the Bronzeville neighborhood, won’t be opening its doors this year.

The high school has long been in the process of closing. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced in 2012 that Dyett would be “phased out,” meaning after 2012 no new students would be admitted, as a result of low test scores, and the building would be closed when the last class graduated.

Three years later, Dyett’s doors are now closed. But the fight to reopen the school is heating up. On Monday, August 17, 12 parents and neighborhood activists began a hunger strike, under the banner of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, to demand that CPS make a decision on the future of the school and reopen it as a district-run, open-enrollment, neighborhood school that would allow all students to attend regardless of grades.

CPS announced last year that it would consider proposals for a new manager and school vision for Dyett. But after months of delays, most recently an August meeting rescheduled for September, and with a long history of mistrust between community groups and the district, community members say they’ve waited long enough. ..............(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/18341/dyett-high-school-closure-hunger-strike-bronzeville




Professor Richard Wolff with Thom Hartmann on the real state of the global economy





Published on Aug 24, 2015

Tonight on The Big Picture, Thom takes a look at the U.S. and global markets and discusses the state of both economies.

Dr. Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of “Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism joins Thom to talk about Monday’s historic lows in the financial markets. Richard Wolff breaks down China’s economy and if the devaluation of the yuan is the root to this market meltdown. Then Thom and Richard take a look at the U.S. economy and review wage growth, inequality, and pensions.


Ooh-La-La! Paris Is Going Car-Free for a Great Cause





Paris may be for lovers, but on September 27, the French capital will also be for walkers, bikers, and other decidedly non-automotive travelers. Sponsored by the city government, “Une Journée Sans Voiture” (“A Day Without a Car”) will see streets across town shut down (or “opened up,” depending on how you look at it) in order to make things a little easier for the native Parisians and tourists alike, who are sick of the city’s traffic, and the noise and pollution it causes as well.

Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced the event this past Spring, tweeting a picture of the city’s famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, completely car-free:

According to the Une Journée Sans Voiture webpage, areas that will be set aside solely for pedestrians include the city’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th and 11th municipal zones, as well as streets around the Eiffel Tower, the Bois de Boulogne public park and the Champs-Élysées. And while the car ban is not absolute (government vehicles, for instance, will be allowed to drive in the affected areas, as will people who themselves live in those neighborhoods) they are widespread enough to have the capacity to dramatically change the way people exist in the city.

Paris’ experiment with car-less streets is scheduled to come fresh on the heels of a similar ban in the (much smaller) European capital city of Stockholm, Sweden. Inhabitat points out that the day without cars also coincides with both European Mobility week and the COP21 United Nations climate conference. ...................(more)

http://magazine.good.is/articles/paris-car-free-for-a-day-september-27



Europe: What the Greek Memorandum Means


from Dissent magazine:


Europe: What the Greek Memorandum Means
James Galbraith and Daniel Munevar ▪ August 24, 2015


It is a lie from the first line. “Greece has requested support from its European partners. . . .” Thus begins the “Memorandum of Understanding for a three-year ESM programme” (MoU), which sets the conditions with which Greece must comply in order to avoid being ruled in default on its debts.

The reality is that the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, was bludgeoned into accepting the terms that follow in this long and depressing document, under threat that the banking system of his country, entirely controlled by the European Central Bank, would otherwise be demolished, and that he would be forced to manage a disorderly exit from the euro, for which his government did not feel—and for which in fact it wasn’t—decently prepared.

For what purpose, this supposed support? The document continues: “to restore sustainable growth, create jobs, reduce inequalities, and to address the risks to its own financial stability and to that of the euro area.” Let us take these up in turn.

Restore sustainable growth.” In reality Greece has not enjoyed sustainable growth under the euro, which is to say, not since 1999 at least. Growth in the entire period before 2010 was built on unsustainable debt, followed since then by deep and ongoing decline.

“Create jobs.” Here the record of the previous memorandums, in force since 2010 and highly similar to the present one, is not reassuring. Under their guidance, Greek unemployment has reached 29 percent overall and around 60 percent for the young, with no sign of improvement so far. ......................(more)

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/europe-greece-memorandum-understanding-mou-galbraith-munevar




Newt Gingrich, debt deadbeat





Published on Aug 23, 2015

"Much like Donald Trump today, at one point Newt Gingrich held the frontrunner position in the 2012 Republican primary election. His campaign plodded on using borrowed money for months after most people realized Gingrich didn't have a chance, and when Newt 2012 finally ended, it crashed in a heap of debt that may never be repaid.

The campaign still owes $4.6 million to dozens of businesses that provided things like transportation, voter canvassing and yard signs. The former speaker of the House’s debts put him in company with fringe weirdo Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial presidential pretender since the 1980s who owes $3.2 million across four campaign accounts.”*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/newt-2012-campaign-debts_55b65859e4b0224d8832dbcc



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