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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 70,473

Journal Archives

Overnight stashing of $453 billion signals European troubles


FRANKFURT—Banks from the 17 countries that use the euro stashed €347 billion ($453 billion) overnight with the European Central Bank on Thursday, in another sign that Europe’s debt crisis is still putting pressure on the banking system despite massive central bank support.

The figure announced Friday is the highest for 2011, topping €346.4 billion earlier this month.

It’s a sign of mistrust in the interbank lending market where banks raise operating funds, suggesting they are depositing money with the central bank at low interest rates because they are afraid to lend it to other banks — for fear they won’t get paid back.

Europe is suffering from a debt crisis marked by concerns that heavily indebted governments such as Italy may be unable to pay off their bonds. That means trouble for banks because they typically hold government bonds. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1106279--overnight-deposits-at-european-central-bank-hit-year-high-in-sign-of-mistrust?bn=1



Democracy and Socialism - Emanuele Saccarelli - Parts I-IV



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Teach-in by Prof. Emanuele Saccarelli, SDSU entitled: "Democracy and Socialism" The lecture explained how the democratic aspirations of working people would be met in the process of reorganizing society along socialist lines. A few crucial historical experiences, including the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 will be examined. The 'Commune'and the 'Soviets' represented new forms and institutions of democratic rule and representation which were developed by working people in their struggle for equality. The lecture also discusses the contemporary significance of these institutions with particular reference to the failure of the nominal'democracy' that exists today as well as the challenges confronting the 'Occupy' movement.
Professor Saccarelli is the faculty adviser for International Student for Social Equality, the student organization for Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).


Yikes !!!!


Keith Olbermann just played the clip from last night's Tea Party Repug presidential debate in which Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical question to Ron Paul about a man who gets a serious illness, has no health coverage and can't afford it, and Ron Paul's response was, "He should take responsibility.....That's what freedom is about."
Then Wolfie asked if the man should be allowed to die, to which one of the Teabaggers in the audience shouted, "Yeah!"



These are some scary, twisted, existentialist mofos.


D.C.'s train station is a mess. Again.


from the Washington City Paper:



A More Perfect Union Station
D.C.'s train station is a mess. Again.

By Lydia DePillis • December 9, 2011





There are essentially two routes into Union Station by foot: The bad way, and the worse way.

The bad way starts in the Metro station, or along First Street NE, where the subway entrance is chiseled into a massive stone wall abutting a narrow sidewalk. Push your way through the commuters and tourists pouring on and off the Red line and shove yourself up whichever escalator to the main floor is in service when you happen to arrive. The first thing you see when you get into the train station proper is probably a line. It might be for the post office. Or maybe it’s for the train departing Gate A. Or for Sbarro. There’s no way to know, really, until you squeeze your way past it to see where it ends.

But you don’t have time for a prolonged investigation. You’ve got to hunt down a working ticket machine so you don’t miss your train. There are a few in the middle of the station, nestled between more lines, and some a longer walk away, past the shops by the Amtrak ticketing counter. So you keep pushing through the crowd. It’s loud, and getting louder; the next MARC train is boarding, so the PA system is blaring about stopping in “Savage”—which sounds about right. The lighting is of an institutional fluorescent variety that seems designed to stress you out, especially as you squint to see arrivals and departures on faraway monitors.

Finally, you stumble out into the historic section of the building, and the drab tile floors give way to shiny marble. Things might be looking up. But all you see are tour bus kiosks and tchotchke shops. Freestanding blue signs offer no direction. You spot a line ending by the stairway down to the food court, though, and sure enough, there’s the Quik-Trak unit you’ve been looking for. You print your ticket and look for your train. If you’re leaving from Gate K, way over at the eastern end of the station by McDonald’s, you’ve got to struggle your way through the fluorescent lights, the noise, and the crowds—all over again. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/41832/a-more-perfect-union-station/



LA Times: China's housing bubble is losing air



Falling home values. Debt-strapped borrowers. Real estate woes dogging the economy. It's old news in the United States, but now the air has started to leak from another great housing bubble — in China.

Home prices nationwide declined in November for the third straight month, according to an index of values in 100 major cities compiled by the China Index Academy, an independent real estate firm. Average prices in the Shanghai area are down about 40% from their peak in mid-2009, to about $176,000 for a 1,000-square-foot home.

Sales have plummeted. In Beijing, nearly two years' worth of inventory is clogging the market, and more than 1,000 real estate agencies have closed this year. Developers who once pre-sold housing projects within hours are growing desperate. A real estate company in the eastern city of Wenzhou is offering to throw in a new BMW with a home purchase.

The swift turnaround has stunned buyers such as Shanghai resident Mark Li, who thought prices had nowhere to go but up. The software engineer closed on a $250,000, three-bedroom apartment in August, only to watch weeks later as the developer slashed prices 25% on identical units to attract buyers in a slowing market. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-housing-bubble-20111213,0,6222603,full.story



Yes, Aaron Rodgers had a great 2011, but........


......sorry AP, Nole is male athlete of the year.





GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Aaron Rodgers needs to rekindle the feelings that drove his rise from a junior college quarterback to Super Bowl MVP, he doesn’t have to look too far.

Rodgers held on to the many rejection letters he received from marquee college programs as he was coming out of high school. Even today, he leaves a few of them sitting out at his house.

“I chose the couple that I thought were most demeaning to display in a space in my house that really nobody is able to see but myself,” Rodgers said. “It’s something that I think is important to keep fresh on your mind. Maybe not every day, but once a week, your eyes might pan across it, and you have a little laugh about the journey you’ve been on — at the same time, remembering that there still are people out there that you can prove something to.”

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

Rodgers received 112 votes out of the 212 ballots submitted from U.S. news organizations that make up the AP’s membership. Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander finished second with 50 votes, followed by tennis standout Novak Djokovic (21), Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton (6) and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart (5). ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20111221/SPORTS02/111221042/Verlander-loses-out-Packers-Rodgers-AP-male-athlete-year?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p






NY Times: On the Exterior of Jetliners, a Parade of Plain Vanilla



[font size="1"]As domestic airlines have taken a more sober approach to the business of flying, fancy fuselages and lively paint jobs have faded away. The color of choice these days is white.[/font]

By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: December 23, 2011


Airplanes have become just as bland on the outside as they are on the inside.

After decades of frenzied competition and staggering losses, domestic airlines have taken a more sober approach to the business of flying, with their first priority simply making money. And so the fancy fuselages and lively paint jobs — remember TWA’s bold red lines? — have gone the way of free meals, pillows and checked bags.

The color of choice these days is sensible white. White does not fade as fast in the sun and requires fewer touchups. And without the added flash of color, less paint is needed, making planes lighter and saving fuel.

“There used to be romance in air travel,” said Steve Cone, a marketing expert who helped create the first frequent flier programs. “The airlines were run by dreamers, creative types and entrepreneurs. They’ve been replaced by penny pinchers who don’t think about the real estate outside of the plane.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/24/business/on-the-exterior-of-jetliners-a-parade-of-plain-vanilla.html?_r=1&hpw



Surrendering More American Rights


from Consortium News:



Surrendering More American Rights
December 22, 2011

More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks – even after Osama bin Laden’s death and U.S. intelligence assessments that al-Qaeda is collapsing – Congress keeps on chipping away at U.S. constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism, and President Obama is ready to go along, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson


The U.S. Congress ended the year by assaulting the Constitution in the form of the 2012 National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), which passed both the House and the Senate by large margins despite having an attached provision (the “Homeland Battlefield Bill”) that allows the United States military to take into custody and hold indefinitely without trial, any American citizen designated a “terrorist suspect.”

As if to make sure that everyone knew just what they were voting for, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who supports the legislation, said on the Senate floor, “the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as a battlefield, including the homeland.”

That means U.S. citizens designated terrorist suspects are stripped of their protections under the Constitution. They simply fall into a judicial black hole. Ironically, Congress did this to the country on the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.

At first it seemed that President Obama was prepared to veto the bill to prevent this attack on citizen rights. But this proved to be untrue. What Obama was really interested in was language that prevents the military from interfering with the work of the FBI in cases of suspected terrorism. Actually, this should add to our worries because the FBI has a disturbing record of manufacturing terrorists out of poor and disgruntled U.S. citizens. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2011/12/22/surrendering-more-american-rights/



Future of America Christmas YIKES !!!!





www.failblog.org



Somebody really hates children





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