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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 71,317

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Yankees can't catch a break with injuries


ST. PETERSBURG – New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, who already has missed 38 games this season after breaking his right arm, is likely to miss another month, and possibly more, with a broken left hand.

Three months to the day after he suffered a broken right forearm after being hit by a pitch from J.A. Happ in his first at-bat of spring training, Granderson suffered a broken fifth metacarpal on his left hand after being hit by a pitch from Cesar Ramos in the fifth inning Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Granderson remained in the game and even advanced around the bases, scoring on a bases-loaded walk to Jayson Nix, but he did not come out to play the field in the bottom of the inning. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/9309809/curtis-granderson-new-york-yankees-fractures-pinkie-hit-pitch


Why Radical is the New Normal


from YES! Magazine:


Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal
Feeling anxious about life in a broken economy on a strained planet? Turn despair into action.

by Robert Jensen
posted May 24, 2013


Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That’s hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic.

We are staring down multiple cascading ecological crises, struggling with political and economic institutions that are unable even to acknowledge, let alone cope with, the threats to the human family and the larger living world. We are intensifying an assault on the ecosystems in which we live, undermining the ability of that living world to sustain a large-scale human presence into the future. When all the world darkens, looking on the bright side is not a virtue but a sign of irrationality.

In these circumstances, anxiety is rational and anguish is healthy, signs not of weakness but of courage. A deep grief over what we are losing—and have already lost, perhaps never to be recovered—is appropriate. Instead of repressing these emotions we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively, not only for our own mental health but to increase the effectiveness of our organizing for the social justice and ecological sustainability still within our grasp. Once we’ve sorted through those reactions, we can get apocalyptic and get down to our real work.

Perhaps that sounds odd, since we are routinely advised to overcome our fears and not give in to despair. Endorsing apocalypticism seems even stranger, given associations with “end-timer” religious reactionaries and “doomer” secular survivalists. People with critical sensibilities, those concerned about justice and sustainability, think of ourselves as realistic and less likely to fall for either theological or science-fiction fantasies. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/love-and-the-apocalypse/radical-is-the-new-normal



Germany trying to hash out uniform marijuana law


from Der Spiegel:



Know Your Limit: Germany Seeks Uniform Law on Marijuana
In Berlin, you can carry 15 grams of marijuana. In Munich? Just six. To ease any confusion, German states are now trying to hash out possession regulations that would apply across the country.




The laws regarding cannabis possession in Germany are nothing if not confusing. It is illegal to possess or consume marijuana. Except that carrying a small amount for personal use has no criminal repercussions. But how much is okay? That depends on where you are. Each state has a different rule.

That, though, may soon change. Ralf Jäger, interior minister of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Thursday that the 16 German states are now seeking to establish a single limit valid across the country. "We are prompting the ministers of justice to push for harmonization efforts, so that the legal status no longer varies from state to state," Jäger told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung at a conference of state interior ministers in Hanover this week.

Such a uniform ruling would come as a relief to many. Currently, people in the city-state of Berlin are allowed to carry 15 grams of cannabis, but just across the border in Brandenburg, the limit is just six grams, as it is for many other states. Still others have set the limit at 10 grams, roughly equivalent to a handful of marijuana.

Up or Down?

How exactly this standardization may ultimately play out remains to be seen. In November, Lower Saxony's justice minister at the time, Bernd Busemann of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, pushed to lower the limit to six grams throughout the country, a proposal that would likely encounter resistance in Berlin. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-states-consider-standardizing-marijuana-rules-a-901717.html



Tomorrow........March Against Monsanto



http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/

To see the list of planned events: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/p/blog-page.html


The March Against Monsanto was started by a handful of millenials with a passion for change, a passion that we all have within us. Many people make the mistake of looking for someone to make change for them when the real change in this world comes from within. The top-down approach for making the world a better place, i.e. electing politicians to do our bidding has come and gone, with little success. There's a revolution happening right before our eyes, and before I had the opportunity to help with the world-wide March Against Monsanto, I was largely oblivious to this sea change that is coming. The rules of change, of activism, of consciousness, and of helping people are being rewritten by you and me, one connection at a time. The new revolution of good is coming from the grass-roots and making its way upward; this bottom-up effect is exactly what those who would like to see us silent are afraid of.

This new way of media and activism cannot be controlled by the likes of corporations or governments; these are ideas and they cannot be stopped. This new paradigm shift starts with you, your friends and family, and the way you can connect with people around you; the way information is disseminated makes all the difference in this new paradigm. The mainstream media controls 95% of the information that we see, from television to newspapers, to magazines. This is the top-down technique, where you have no choice but to consume what's being served, making for a fickle population that was manipulated by commercials and where money made the major difference between a bill passing or failing, and a politician being elected or losing. The new media is a media of choice, where people can choose to get information on a topic that they choose. What does this mean? This means that a person that participates in the new media is more passionate, better informed, in turn a much more valuable asset to a social movement. These people are well versed in the information, founded in fact, and immune to the manipulation of a mainstream media establishment that is 90% owned by 6 monopolistic corporations. These new activists are warriors for truth and justice, and for those currently controlling the agenda, this can be a scary situation.

You see, the government and corporations are ingrained into the establishment; they're comfortable in their positions. This will be their downfall. History and science have shown that the comfortable devolve and the oppressed evolve; struggle is the essence of innovation and of change. This is why good always prevails over bad. The March Against Monsanto has grown beyond my wildest dreams; a few months ago it was just an idea. It has grown into a full blown movement and the people that started it wouldn't be able to stop if they wanted. You see, the people have taken over the March, the decentralization has come in a natural way, an intuitive way. Movements can no longer be over-centralized, as over-centralization is detrimental to any organization, institution, business and government. The new paradigm which is forming will be driven by people who care, not people who care for power. The old idea of inorganic manipulation, which used to be the norm, has fallen to the side in favor of this new movement of information: this new Revolution. Information is spreading in grass-roots, open source fashion, all the old rules are being thrown out. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/2013/05/note-i-will-be-hosting-special-radio.html


Why Radical is the New Normal


from YES! Magazine:


Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal
Feeling anxious about life in a broken economy on a strained planet? Turn despair into action.

by Robert Jensen
posted May 24, 2013


Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That’s hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic.

We are staring down multiple cascading ecological crises, struggling with political and economic institutions that are unable even to acknowledge, let alone cope with, the threats to the human family and the larger living world. We are intensifying an assault on the ecosystems in which we live, undermining the ability of that living world to sustain a large-scale human presence into the future. When all the world darkens, looking on the bright side is not a virtue but a sign of irrationality.

In these circumstances, anxiety is rational and anguish is healthy, signs not of weakness but of courage. A deep grief over what we are losing—and have already lost, perhaps never to be recovered—is appropriate. Instead of repressing these emotions we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively, not only for our own mental health but to increase the effectiveness of our organizing for the social justice and ecological sustainability still within our grasp. Once we’ve sorted through those reactions, we can get apocalyptic and get down to our real work.

Perhaps that sounds odd, since we are routinely advised to overcome our fears and not give in to despair. Endorsing apocalypticism seems even stranger, given associations with “end-timer” religious reactionaries and “doomer” secular survivalists. People with critical sensibilities, those concerned about justice and sustainability, think of ourselves as realistic and less likely to fall for either theological or science-fiction fantasies. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/love-and-the-apocalypse/radical-is-the-new-normal



Another for the annals of 'Dumbest Sports Injuries'




Washington Nationals’ relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus is expected to miss 4-6 weeks due to a broken right hand. Most injuries come on the field, but Mattheus broke his hand while punching a locker Sunday night.

The 29-year-old gave up five runs in one inning against the San Diego Padres that day and he obviously wasn’t too happy about it. The terrible inning of relief got the best of him as he took out his anger on a locker after the game.

According to the Washington Post, Mattheus didn’t immediately tell the Nationals about his “locker punch,” though he eventually informed the team which led to an exam of his pitching hand. An X-ray revealed soon after that his hand was fractured, which eventually led to the disabled list. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inquisitr.com/674344/nationals-ryan-mattheus-likely-to-miss-4-6-weeks-after-punching-locker/



Why the Graduating Class of 2013 is Out of Luck


Socialist Worker / By Gary Lapon

Why the Graduating Class of 2013 is Out of Luck
As the latest entrants into what has been dubbed the "lost generation," this year's graduating class is expected to face a future of uncertainty and diminished prospects.

May 24, 2013 |


College graduation is supposed to be a time of celebration--a time for graduates to look back on years of hard work and achievement, and forward to a bright future filled with promise.

Yet the class of 2013--the young women and men who were submitting college applications in the fall of 2008 as the world financial system came to the brink of Armageddon following the collapse of Lehman Brothers--are facing a future that of uncertainty and diminished prospects.

They are the latest entrants into what has been dubbed the "lost generation"--so-called because the high rates of unemployment and underemployment its members endure at the start of their working lives drag them down throughout their working lives, making it more and more difficult to maintain the standard of living of their parents.

Only half of recent graduates have been able to find a full-time job that makes use of their degree. Yet all are still left with the bill from college, with the average student loan burden nearing $30,000. With the number of new graduates expected to outstrip the number of new jobs requiring a degree over the next several years, this trend will only get worse. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/why-graduating-class-2013-out-luck



Pension plans beat 401(k) savers—again


(MarketWatch) Every year, human-resources consultancy Towers Watson does a study comparing the investment performance of defined-benefit pension plans to the performance of defined-contribution (DC) plans like 401(k)s. The pension plans outperform 401(k)s most years (11 times out of the last 12, in fact) but the results for 2011 (the most recent year available) were, um, special.

As Towers Watson reported this week, the median pension plan outperformed the median 401(k) that year by almost 3 percentage points, gaining 2.74% while the average DC plan was down by 0.22%. That, says Towers Watson, was the widest margin since the company started tracking the data since 1995. (The average margin over that stretch was 0.76%.) And 401(k) investors like your Encore editor are left to wonder just what we did wrong.

The short answer is: As a group, we stayed in stocks. Thanks mostly to an ugly summer swoon, stocks were essentially flat in 2011. But prices of long-term bonds – which pensions rely on, but relatively few individual investors own – soared as interest rates dropped. And as Towers Watson notes, DC investors held a bigger share of their portfolios in stocks than pensions did in every year from 2006 to 2011. (For 2011, stocks made up 62% of DC plan portfolios and just 48% of pension portfolios.) Since the beginning of 2012, the S&P 500 is up more than 30%, with an 11% gain in calendar 2012, so it’ll be interesting to see what the next head-to-head report shows.

Fees also figure into the most recent results – and, indeed, play into the long-term losing streak of 401(k) investors. In 2011, 48% of assets in 401(k) and other DC plans were held in mutual funds, compared with only 14% of pension assets; Towers Watson estimates those fees shaved about 0.31% off of DC plans’ returns, making the difference between a gain and a loss for the year. (Pension funds face investment expenses, too, of course, but their enormity often means they pay much less.) ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/05/24/pension-plans-beat-401k-savers-again/



Suicide by Sequester: US Feels Pinch of Erratic Spending Cuts


from Der Spiegel:



The pain of the sequester has been bearable thus far, but that will soon change. This summer, thousands of Americans will suffer due to cuts triggered by the entrenched budgetary battle in Washington -- and the damage could last for generations.

Despite being only 32, Alicia Tolliver has had no shortage of tough breaks in life -- a teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, unemployment and homelessness. Eventually, though, she found a resource in Head Start, an American health and human services program for young low-income children and their families. For Tolliver, Head Start served as a motivational program as well. She went back to school, completed a training course and found a job.

But then things went downhill again. With the financial crisis came unemployment and the loss of her apartment and car. Again, Tolliver found salvation through Head Start, as she fought to keep things together for herself and her three children.

But then came the sequester.

"It's frustrating," Tolliver says. Once again, she's about to watch everything fall apart. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-long-term-costs-of-the-sequester-battle-in-america-a-901734.html



Toronto mayor Rob Ford saga: chief of staff fired for telling mayor to 'get help'




(CBC News) Mark Towhey was fired as Mayor Rob Ford's chief of staff because he told Ford to "go away and get help," a source close to the mayor's office has told CBC News.

Towhey was unceremoniously dumped from his job Thursday in the midst of a scandal that has shaken Toronto municipal politics — with the city's colourful mayor caught in the midst of allegations that he was recorded smoking crack cocaine.

The story broke last week and shortly after Towhey faced down the mayor telling him he needed help.

"There's nothing more I can do for you," the source quoted Towhey as telling Ford. The chief of staff then told Ford to "go away and get help." ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/05/23/toronto-ford-towhey.html



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