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The "new normal": More than 46 million Americans on foodstamps and no sign of letting up

© Unknown
More than 45 million people on foodstamps for three years in a row, while Obama claims the economy is getting better
President Barack Obama and vulnerable Democrats facing tough midterm elections in 71 days are scrambling to prop up the moribund U.S. economy in the minds of disgruntled voters. However, one of the quickest shorthand economic measurements--food stamp enrollments--paints a startling portrait of the "new normal" in the Obama economy.

According to the Department of Agriculture's most recently released data, the number of individuals enrolled in the food stamp program (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) has remained above 45 million every single month for three years straight.

In May 2011, 45,410,683 individuals received food stamps. As of May 2014 (the most recent date for which data are available), 46,225,054 people were on food stamps. At no point between the two dates did the number of food stamp enrollments ever fall below the 45 million mark.

Comment: From the report Profits from Poverty: How Food Stamps Benefit Corporations:

"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is an unusual entity in that, even though it was designed as a human welfare program, it exists administratively as a part of and is run by the Department of Agriculture. Recall that the program was originally conceived as a way to maintain high agricultural commodity prices."

Comment: For further information:

Poverty now rampant: Half of U.S. kids now on food stamps
One in seven Americans live on food stamps


Weird! Aircraft crashes into Atlantic: U.S. says

Waukesha County Regional Airport.
The North American Aerospace Defence Command says it has scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to aid an aircraft that appears to have crashed into the Atlantic.

The fighter jets tried to provide assistance to what NORAD in a statement called an "unresponsive general aviation aircraft".

The aircraft took off from Waukesha Airport, in Wisconsin, and was headed to Manassas Airport, in Virginia, when it crashed into the ocean, NORAD said on Saturday.

NORAD is the joint Canadian and American command in charge of maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for the neighbouring nations.

Comment: Hmm, so why dispatch two fighters to assist a plane in distress? A rescue helicopter or a cargo plane could drop rescue equipment, but what good are two fighter jets? What is going on here? The passenger manifest would be interesting. Or maybe it was a strike by a comet?


Eat this, U.S.! Sanctions can give a major boost to reindeer meat industry in Siberia

As American beef disappears, venison can take a bigger slice of the market.
© Alexander Tyryshkin
Estimates say some 70,000 reindeer will be slaughtered this year for venison.
The Russian government has targeted US and EU food imports with an embargo in a tit-for-tat move for sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis.

With US and European meat disappearing from supermarkets in Russia, there is an opportunity for domestic producers to fill gaps in the market.

Schools and hospitals in Chukota which nudges Alaska in the east of the country are to be supplied from local reindeer herds to replace American imports.

Five co-authors of latest Ebola study killed by virus before research was published

Study found funeral in Guinea may have caused outbreak in Sierra Leone

© Independent
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at least 660 people have died from the worst outbreak yet of the haemorrhagic fever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said,
Five co-authors of the latest study on Ebola were killed by the virus before their research was published, highlighting the huge risks undertaken by those working to combat its spread.

The study, published on Thursday, discovered the virus has mutated many times during the outbreak in West Africa, making establishing a treatment more difficult.

Mbalu Fonnie, Alex Moigboi, Alice Kovoma, Mohamed Fullah and Sheik Umar Khan worked with lead researchers at Harvard University to examine the current outbreak.

Science Magazine said all five were experienced members of the Kenema Government Hospital's (KGH) Lassa fever team. Lassa fever infections have similar symptoms to Ebola.

Their work sequenced the virus genomes from 78 patients and traced the outbreak in Sierra Leone to a funeral of a healer, which a pregnant Kenema Government Hospital Ebola patient and other women who were also infected had attended.

Comment: Why would contagious Ebola patients be allowed to attend a funeral?


Russia opens its arms: 10,699.5 kilometres to a new life as refugees from Ukraine arrive in Magadan on the Pacific coast

'I cry and say thank you to the Russians that they welcomed us so warmly.'
© Alexander Krylov, MagadanMedia
189 refugees arrived in Magadan, 9 time zones east of their homes in Donetsk.
With a nine hour time difference to Donetsk, the remote city of Magadan - once a key transit point for political prisoners in the Stalin era - may not be the most likely location for those fleeing the blitzkrieg in Ukraine to find new homes. But this week 189 refugees arrived in this Pacific port some nine time zones east of their former region of war-torn Donetsk. Among the group were 35 children.

They were part of a large contingent of Russian-speakers who have chosen to resettle in Siberia having fled the appalling humanitarian crisis now afflicting eastern Ukraine. Many had escaped from Donetsk region into Crimea before their relocation further east.

For one woman, Lidia Solovieva, it was an unexpected homecoming. Back in the 1980s, she had come here to Kolyma, known to the world for gold and gulags, as she said, in search of romance.

Comment: Russia is rapidly becoming the most civilized country on Earth. Countries change with their governments; the USA changed for the worse, Russia changed for the better.

Bacon n Eggs

Small stockpiles drive butter prices to all-time high

Butter futures reached an all-time high in Chicago as Americans' rising appetite for the fatty dairy spread and rising exports erode U.S. inventories.

Domestic consumption is projected to rise 0.8 percent to 788,000 metric tons in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would be the second-highest ever in data going back to 1965. Shipments in the first six months of the year were up 42 percent from 2013. Demand is rising as milk production trailed analyst expectations, while fat content, used to make butter, is also dropping, according to Eric Meyer, the president of Chicago-based HighGround Dairy.

Consumers have increased purchases for five straight years, while margarine sales dropped, according to researcher Nielsen NV. The gains left U.S. stockpiles in July 42 percent lower than a year earlier, USDA data show. Tight butter supplies are contributing to higher costs for buyers including Panera Bread Co.

"Ultimately, there's good demand for cream-based products that's tightening up the market," Dave Kurzawski, a Chicago-based senior broker at INTL FCStone Inc., said in a telephone interview. "We haven't had a tremendous amount of milk to deal with either, and the quality of fat in milk has gone down."

  • U.S. butter consumption reaches highest level in 40 years

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More versus Enough

This article explores what I think has become just about a mental illness-- the desire for "more" and the corollary "bigger." This is a disorder that has been stoked and encouraged by the media, even by political leaders. But is it really what we want, and is it at all healthy or normal?

There's a new Verizon commercial that claims that everyone wants MORE... like bigger wheels,
© Verizon Ad
More wheels.
more food, as in a huge cookie
© Verizon Ad
More-- as in bigger cookie.

Masked California cop accused of beating woman with a baseball bat

masked man with baseball bat
A 30-year veteran of the Walnut Creek, California police force is accused of attacking a woman with a baseball bat while wearing a mask to conceal his identity.

According to KTVU, Richmond, California police arrested 53-year-old Gregory Thompson at around 2:00 A.M. on Aug. 16 after residents called police to report a woman screaming.

"We'd already gone to bed, kept hearing a banging, thumping noise," said Richmond resident Carus Culver.

Neighbor Jason Peneyra said, "Police came knocking on our doors. They were looking for a suspect."

Richmond police said they found Thompson sitting in his car. He identified himself as an officer of the law, but investigators found a mask lying in the floorboard of the vehicle and a baseball bat in the trunk.

"It's alarming for a police officer to do that," said Peneyra to KTVU. "That's weird. That's really weird."

Richmond Police Capt. Bisa French said, "We don't have a motive in this case, but we're looking at the possibility this was mistaken identity, or someone else was supposed to be targeted. We just don't know."

Comment: Goon cops have gone wild all over America

People 2

Sustainable living on a planet faced with cyclic cataclysms

This article is NOT EVEN WRONG! The author is focusing on the need for organized labor to get on-board with environmentalists to help avert climate change. This is so utterly ridiculous as the US economy is in a pathetic state. Poverty and joblessness are at unthinkable levels, with so many industries having been outsourced, that 'climate change' is hardly an issue for the labor movement. Let alone the fact that he is still pushing the tired meme of global warming, when the world has been on a cooling trend for the past 16 years. Yes, the climate is changing, but nothing can be done about that - it is part of a natural cycle and it looks more and more like we may be on the brink of a new ice age! Yes, people do need to be prepared, but the psychopaths in power will never own up to what is really coming our way. For more information on what we may be facing read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection.

labor environmental movements
© Creative Commons / Creative Action Network)
'There have never been more compelling reasons for the labor and environmental movements to work together. Global warming and the resulting climate chaos poses a real and present danger to work and working people. The destinies of these two movements are truly intertwined.' (Image: Creative Commons / Creative Action Network)
On Labor Day 1940, American workers faced the aftermath of the Great Depression, with mass unemployment persisting and a divided labor movement facing a renewed counterattack from corporate America. They were barely becoming aware of an even greater threat, one that would determine the future of their country and their labor movement: the threat of Nazi armies mobilizing for war.

On Labor Day 2014, American workers face the lingering results of the Great Recession, with unemployment still at historic highs, burgeoning inequality, and attacks on the very right to have a union. But, like workers in 1940, we are being pressed by another threat, one that will far overshadow our current problems if we do not take it on.

"The future of labor's growth and vitality will depend on its ability to play a central role in the movement to build a sustainable future for the planet and its people."

Comment: Yes, we do need to build jobs for a sustainable future and to think about the effects of climate change on populations, but unless enough people wake up - and soon - to the possibility that we may be facing cosmic catastrophe and an ice age, we will be knocked back into the stone age!

Arrow Up

Anti-drone protests: LAPD wants to further police militarization by using drones

drone protest LA

Protesters rally at City Hall against LAPD drones. A loud demonstration against LAPD drones was held in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.
Community activists Thursday held a rally at City Hall against the recent acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - or drones - by the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to the LAPD, these small aircrafts can only stay in the air for about 20 minutes and would have limited use in certain circumstances, such as hostage situations.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports about a dozen protesters with the Drone-Free LAPD/No Drones, LA! campaign staged a demonstration across from LAPD Headquarters downtown.

Comment: The US police have already become completely berserk and have enough military equipment as it is - but they won't be happy until they are able to exercise complete control of the population and watch everyone 24/7.