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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 6

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2015-08-21 08:54:39 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Most reshares: 4

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2015-08-25 11:42:39 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

OK, sounds sensational. The clip is alot more thoughtful than it sounds. Of course there is a bit of hype... but all in all, I found that she (Nora) provided an insight into a part of our species, that I know that I don't understand as well as I might like to.

Most plusones: 16

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2015-08-28 04:45:13 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Latest 50 posts

2015-08-31 09:41:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

From Chapter 4 of the book " History is a Weapon" - A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.
When we look at the American Revolution this way, it was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers deserve the awed tribute they have received over the centuries. They created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times, and showed future generations of leaders the... more »

From Chapter 4 of the book " History is a Weapon" - A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.
When we look at the American Revolution this way, it was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers deserve the awed tribute they have received over the centuries. They created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times, and showed future generations of leaders the advantages of combining paternalism with command.___

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2015-08-31 08:47:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Flying? This is a good source to make decision about how you are going to fly. Bundled information. Includes a airfare search.

There's an easy way to get an upgrade on your next flight http://cntrvlr.com/1LsP3OH___Flying? This is a good source to make decision about how you are going to fly. Bundled information. Includes a airfare search.

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2015-08-31 07:39:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

From Chapter 3 of the book " History is a Weapon" - A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Sound a little familiar, somehow?

..... about the mid 1600s.
It was a complex chain of oppression in Virginia. The Indians were plundered by white frontiersmen, who were taxed and controlled by the Jamestown elite. And the whole colony was being exploited by England, which bought the colonists' tobacco at prices it dictated and made 100,000 pounds a year for the King. Berkeley himself, returning to England years earlier to protest the English Navigation Acts, which gave English merchants a monopoly of the colonial trade, had said:
... we cannot but resent, that forty thousand people should be impoverish'd to enrich little more than forty Merchants, who being the only buyers of our Tobacco, give us what they please for it, and after it is here,... more »

From Chapter 3 of the book " History is a Weapon" - A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Sound a little familiar, somehow?

..... about the mid 1600s.
It was a complex chain of oppression in Virginia. The Indians were plundered by white frontiersmen, who were taxed and controlled by the Jamestown elite. And the whole colony was being exploited by England, which bought the colonists' tobacco at prices it dictated and made 100,000 pounds a year for the King. Berkeley himself, returning to England years earlier to protest the English Navigation Acts, which gave English merchants a monopoly of the colonial trade, had said:
... we cannot but resent, that forty thousand people should be impoverish'd to enrich little more than forty Merchants, who being the only buyers of our Tobacco, give us what they please for it, and after it is here, sell it how they please; and indeed have forty thousand servants in us at cheaper rates, than any other men have slaves....
       From the testimony of the governor himself, the rebellion against him had the overwhelming support of the Virginia population. A member of his Council reported that the defection was "almost general" and laid it to "the Lewd dispositions of some Persons of desperate Fortunes" who had "the Vaine hopes of takeing the Countrey wholley out of his Majesty's handes into their owne." Another member of the Governor's Council, Richard Lee, noted that Bacon's Rebellion had started over Indian policy. But the "zealous inclination of the multitude" to support Bacon was due, he said, to "hopes of levelling."
"Levelling" meant equalizing the wealth. Levelling was to be behind countless actions of poor whites against the rich in all the English colonies, in the century and a half before the Revolution.

(emphasis mine)___

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2015-08-31 06:56:37 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I think that even stopping congress members from becoming lobbyists is not long enough. But it certainly is better than one year. After six years connections can be lost, and situations change so that the chances are the congressperson has also moved on.
#revolvingdooract  

I think that even stopping congress members from becoming lobbyists is not long enough. But it certainly is better than one year. After six years connections can be lost, and situations change so that the chances are the congressperson has also moved on.
#revolvingdooract  ___

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2015-08-31 06:35:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Being an expat myself, and living in Germany..... I can only second these words. When I visit my home city (Philly) I am astounded and horrified to see the difference over the years. the city grow progressively dilapidated. The roads are a disaster. The city feels tired. There is nothing of a vibrant, culturally interesting, well cared for city.
I hope people are tired of tired, leeched out cities. Leeched out lives. Leeched out infrastructure. Leeched out by the 1%.

The Case for Bernie from an Expat
Our quality of life in the US has been seriously eroding. Living here, it's difficult sometimes to get perspective on how far our country has fallen.  Let's take a look.

(Note: I found this article on Daily Kos, and highly recommend that you read the entire post here ☛ http://goo.gl/f0od5z )

"I'm an expat. I live in Germany most of the year. Every year for more than three weeks in August, I travel to the US to visit family and friends. I've just spent a wonderful, relaxing three weeks in the beautiful state of Colorado. I have a generous amount of paid vacation time, mandated by the German government (something Bernie supports, but Hillary is silent on).

By now most of us are familiar with what Sanders means when he calls himself a 'democratic socialist'. He insists that the US, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, can afford to provide its workers with paid vacation time, with universal health care, with a free college education (again, something Hillary does not support). He knows that we have the wealth to improve our nation's infrastructure--every time I return to the US, I'm horrified by how dilapidated this country has become. The position of many Hillary supporters is that (some of) these things are pie-in-the sky dreaming, unrealistic, and unattainable in the US. There is indeed some truth to this--Republicans are committed to obstructing social progress.  

But this attitude reflects just how far we have fallen, how far right our discourse has gone, how deeply disconnected we are from the rest of the world, particularly northern Europeans, who view the US with a combination of horror, disgust (at our foreign policy), and at times, sympathy. They fundamentally do not understand how we still do not have single-payer health care, strong public education that is state subsidized from preschool through specialty training or university education and beyond, unemployment benefits, job-placement and paid retraining services, paid parental leave, generous pensions, and more (much more!).

I am not suggesting that Hillary opposes all these things, though she is conspicuously silent on many of them. What I AM suggesting is that none of these systems in northern Europe happened by accident. They did not magically appear. They were meticulously planned and executed--and what have they delivered to their people? A balance of regulated capitalism, universal social welfare, political democracy, and the highest levels of gender and economic equality on the planet.

My point here is that we will never get there if we don't plan it, and if we don't demand it. And we will certainly NEVER get there by supporting a candidate that is silent on what should be viewed as basic workers and human rights. I'm not even getting into foreign policy or Wall Street--again, no need to get into Hillary's relationship with Wall Street--we know what it is. But it should be obvious to all that without a fundamental change of the role of Wall Street and corporate power in our nation, none of the social values our party should support will be realized.

So when you tell me that these "socialist" values are not realistic, and that most Americans won't vote for them, I'll tell you that the only way to bring this country back from the abyss the right has taken us is to fight for these values and support the candidates that best represent them. The choice is obvious."

(Note: I found this article on Daily Kos, and highly recommend that you read the entire post here ☛ http://goo.gl/f0od5z )

The graphic below is from another source:
here ☛ https://goo.gl/L7m80m

find out what makes Bernie tick:  feelthebern.org

#Bernie2016   #FeelTheBern   #mydailybernie  ___Being an expat myself, and living in Germany..... I can only second these words. When I visit my home city (Philly) I am astounded and horrified to see the difference over the years. the city grow progressively dilapidated. The roads are a disaster. The city feels tired. There is nothing of a vibrant, culturally interesting, well cared for city.
I hope people are tired of tired, leeched out cities. Leeched out lives. Leeched out infrastructure. Leeched out by the 1%.

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2015-08-28 12:32:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Essence:
I will cover Trump as he addresses issues with specific policy prescriptions and details, like answers to the question Ramos asked.
Until then, this man is not worthy of the attention he’s garnering. We in the media have to own our part in this. We can’t say he’s not serious and then cover him in a way that actually demonstrates that we are not serious.
Is he an easy target for righteous criticism? Of course he is. But is he aware that criticism from the mainstream media is invaluable among certain segments of the political right? Of course he is. Is he also aware that he’s getting more free publicity for being outrageous than he would ever be willing to buy? Of course he is.
The media is being trolled on a massive scale and we look naïve and silly to have fallen for it, even if he draws readers and viewers. When people refer to the press as the fourth estate, itshouldn’... more »

Charles Blow says what many are thinking. ___Essence:
I will cover Trump as he addresses issues with specific policy prescriptions and details, like answers to the question Ramos asked.
Until then, this man is not worthy of the attention he’s garnering. We in the media have to own our part in this. We can’t say he’s not serious and then cover him in a way that actually demonstrates that we are not serious.
Is he an easy target for righteous criticism? Of course he is. But is he aware that criticism from the mainstream media is invaluable among certain segments of the political right? Of course he is. Is he also aware that he’s getting more free publicity for being outrageous than he would ever be willing to buy? Of course he is.
The media is being trolled on a massive scale and we look naïve and silly to have fallen for it, even if he draws readers and viewers. When people refer to the press as the fourth estate, it shouldn’t be confused with a Trump property.

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2015-08-28 12:27:05 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Actually, I think that there are thoughtful, reasonable republicans around. Just like I think there are good, thoughtful, sincere Christians around that simply live their way without demanding others do.
But those are not the loud ones.

___Actually, I think that there are thoughtful, reasonable republicans around. Just like I think there are good, thoughtful, sincere Christians around that simply live their way without demanding others do.
But those are not the loud ones.

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2015-08-28 04:45:13 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Or process the papers concerning the death penalty for someone?

___Or process the papers concerning the death penalty for someone?

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2015-08-27 12:53:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

<giggling>
I would argue they are magenta. After all it is all a perception of how you believe.....

___<giggling>
I would argue they are magenta. After all it is all a perception of how you believe.....

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2015-08-27 11:50:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Oh! Good! So if you have any involvement with autism or someone who is on the autistic spectrum, this may be for you. it is an hour long, so take the time.

#autismawareness #autism #autistic  

Uniquely Human. (a Google talk)
It is 60 mins, and a fascinating perspective worth having...

"Dr. Barry Prizant visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss his book "Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism".

In the book, Dr. Prizant offers a radical, but proven (over forty years) approach to helping people with autism: autistic behaviors aren’t a disease to be cured, they’re reactions based on a person’s experiences. Dr. Prizant shows parents, educators, and therapists how, once you understand why someone is reacting a certain way, you can help them feel better, master their situation, and lead a productive life. This simple, but powerful. approach has changed
thousands of lives for the better.

Barry Prizant serves as Adjunct Professor in the Artists and Scientists as Partners Group in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown. He has published more than 120 articles and chapters on autism, childhood communication disorders and child development, has given more than 700 seminars and workshops at national and international conferences. He’s served on the Editorial Board of six scholarly journals and writes a regular column for Autism Spectrum Quarterly."

#autismawareness   #autism   #tolerance  ___Oh! Good! So if you have any involvement with autism or someone who is on the autistic spectrum, this may be for you. it is an hour long, so take the time.

#autismawareness #autism #autistic  

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2015-08-27 10:20:49 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Ok, satire warning. And yet......


h/t +John Hummel 

Sentiment Building to Deport Nation’s Billionaires

BOROWITZ REPORT

They don’t pay taxes. They circumvent our laws. They get free stuff from the government. They are America’s billionaires, and many would like to see them gone.

According to a new survey by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, the American people hold the nation’s billionaires in lower esteem than ever before, and a majority would like to see new laws enacted to deport them.


“They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,” one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

“They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,” another said.

Images of hedge-fund managers arriving via helicopter in the Hamptons this summer have only reinforced the impression that authorities have turned a blind eye to their movements.

“Many of these people should be in prison, and the government is looking the other way,” one respondent said.

Stirring even more controversy is the billionaires’ practice of having babies in the United States and using the nation’s porous estate-tax laws to pass down untold wealth to the next generation.

“They should leave and take their children with them,” one respondent said.

Even after it is pointed out to respondents that some billionaires, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, have made significant philanthropic contributions to the world, a majority of those polled stubbornly maintained their negative views of billionaires.

“Look, in every group you’re going to have some good ones,” one of the respondents said. “But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the vast majority of these people are destroying this country.”

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/sentiment-building-to-deport-nations-billionaires?mbid=nl_082415_Borowitz_Report&cndid=19988922&mbid=nl_082415_Borowitz_Report&CNDID=19988922&spMailingID=8010798&spUserID=NTY4MjIzMzY4MTYS1&spJobID=742909397&spReportId=NzQyOTA5Mzk3S0___Ok, satire warning. And yet......


h/t +John Hummel 

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2015-08-26 05:59:51 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Are your kids going to school in the US? Here is a "think" about standardized testing, and its consequences.
"The only thing none of the politicians, consultants, and philanthropists who came in to fix education ever tried, she said, was a systemic commitment to support teachers as leaders in closing the achievement gap, one classroom at a time."

___Are your kids going to school in the US? Here is a "think" about standardized testing, and its consequences.
"The only thing none of the politicians, consultants, and philanthropists who came in to fix education ever tried, she said, was a systemic commitment to support teachers as leaders in closing the achievement gap, one classroom at a time."

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2015-08-25 11:42:39 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

OK, sounds sensational. The clip is alot more thoughtful than it sounds. Of course there is a bit of hype... but all in all, I found that she (Nora) provided an insight into a part of our species, that I know that I don't understand as well as I might like to.

OK, sounds sensational. The clip is alot more thoughtful than it sounds. Of course there is a bit of hype... but all in all, I found that she (Nora) provided an insight into a part of our species, that I know that I don't understand as well as I might like to.___

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2015-08-21 10:23:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Jane Goodall has always had my respect.
The last paragraph:
_But trophy hunting is hard to defend. And the outpouring of anger and hatred occasioned by the killing of Cecil shows how many people feel that the days of the great White Hunter should be brought to a close. It is excellent news that many airlines have now refused to carry trophies. Cecil has become, albeit unknowingly, a martyr for a cause.:

Jane Goodall is one of my greatest heroes. I have heard her speak live on a couple occasions. What she has to say here is important to consider.___Jane Goodall has always had my respect.
The last paragraph:
_But trophy hunting is hard to defend. And the outpouring of anger and hatred occasioned by the killing of Cecil shows how many people feel that the days of the great White Hunter should be brought to a close. It is excellent news that many airlines have now refused to carry trophies. Cecil has become, albeit unknowingly, a martyr for a cause.:

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2015-08-21 08:54:39 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

I just could not help giggling.....

+h/t +Alan Lovejoy 

___I just could not help giggling.....

+h/t +Alan Lovejoy 

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2015-08-20 12:28:34 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

If more groups did this.... subvert the "system". Then perhaps I could buy your debt, and you buy mine, and we forgive each other......

Here two more resources along those lines:
http://rollingjubilee.org/  and  http://strikedebt.org/
Rolling jubilee concentrates on student loan debts


h/t +God Emperor Lionel Lauer 

Epic awesomeness!___If more groups did this.... subvert the "system". Then perhaps I could buy your debt, and you buy mine, and we forgive each other......

Here two more resources along those lines:
http://rollingjubilee.org/  and  http://strikedebt.org/
Rolling jubilee concentrates on student loan debts


h/t +God Emperor Lionel Lauer 

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2015-08-20 06:23:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Muzzle Laws. Excerpt below, but the areticle is worth reading. And sharing.
“Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying,” the manual says, calling on journalists to “act openly and with the permission of relevant authorities.” The manual notes that governments “may need to censor journalists’ work or take other security measures so that journalists do not reveal sensitive information to the enemy.”
The manual’s new language reflects a long-term growing hostility within the U.S. military toward unencumbered reporting about battlefield operations as well as a deepening interest in “information warfare,” the idea that control over what the public gets to hear and see is an important way of ensuring continued popular support for a conflict at home and undermining the enemy abroad.
But allowing this manual to stand as guidancefor commanders, gov... more »

The #Pentagon’s new #LawOfWar manual puts some #journalists in the category of “unprivileged belligerents,” meaning they can be tried by military tribunals as spies, a further sign of U.S. government hostility toward reporting that undercuts Washington’s goals, ...___Muzzle Laws. Excerpt below, but the areticle is worth reading. And sharing.
“Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying,” the manual says, calling on journalists to “act openly and with the permission of relevant authorities.” The manual notes that governments “may need to censor journalists’ work or take other security measures so that journalists do not reveal sensitive information to the enemy.”
The manual’s new language reflects a long-term growing hostility within the U.S. military toward unencumbered reporting about battlefield operations as well as a deepening interest in “information warfare,” the idea that control over what the public gets to hear and see is an important way of ensuring continued popular support for a conflict at home and undermining the enemy abroad.
But allowing this manual to stand as guidance for commanders, government lawyers and leaders of foreign nations would severely damage press freedoms, not only for Americans but internationally. It would drastically inhibit the news media ability to cover future wars honestly and keep the public informed, which is after all what both U.S. government officials and journalists say they want.

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2015-08-18 08:46:18 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Not only US citizens.... also voters in other countries. Yep.
So how are you going to vote?

___Not only US citizens.... also voters in other countries. Yep.
So how are you going to vote?

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2015-08-17 18:07:38 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

If you join using the link below, you can loan 25$ of not your money. Make a difference!!!

If you join using the link below, you can loan 25$ of not your money. Make a difference!!!___

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2015-08-12 19:54:11 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

And I am sure she means she will use that finger to VOTE, and is encouraging others to vote as well.



h/t +Mark Layder 

___And I am sure she means she will use that finger to VOTE, and is encouraging others to vote as well.



h/t +Mark Layder 

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2015-08-12 10:42:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

So how did "your" representative vote?

So how did "your" representative vote?___

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2015-08-12 10:06:20 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

What is happening at colleges in the US???
There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.

But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that aresur... more »

What is happening at colleges in the US???
There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.

But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically.___

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2015-08-12 07:12:18 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

People being cared for.... with respect. I want that for me. I want that for the ones i love. I want that for all of us.

Excerpt form another article on the town:
Hogewey was primarily funded by the Dutch government and cost slightly more than $25 million to build. The cost of care is nearly $8,000 per month, but the Dutch government subsidizes the residents—all of whom receive private rooms—to varying degrees; the amount each family pays is based on income, but never exceeds $3,600.
To put it into perspective, a private room at a U.S. nursing home cost an average of $248 per day in 2012, or more than $90,500 annually—a figure that’s even more staggering when applied to the rapid increase in dementia patients globally. By 2030, the number of people suffering from dementia around the world is expected to hit 76 million, which some estimate will cause an 85 percent increase indementi... more »

Hogewey is a cutting-edge elderly-care facility—roughly the size of 10 football fields—where residents are given the chance to live seemingly normal lives.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/the-dutch-village-where-everyone-has-dementia/382195/___People being cared for.... with respect. I want that for me. I want that for the ones i love. I want that for all of us.

Excerpt form another article on the town:
Hogewey was primarily funded by the Dutch government and cost slightly more than $25 million to build. The cost of care is nearly $8,000 per month, but the Dutch government subsidizes the residents—all of whom receive private rooms—to varying degrees; the amount each family pays is based on income, but never exceeds $3,600.
To put it into perspective, a private room at a U.S. nursing home cost an average of $248 per day in 2012, or more than $90,500 annually—a figure that’s even more staggering when applied to the rapid increase in dementia patients globally. By 2030, the number of people suffering from dementia around the world is expected to hit 76 million, which some estimate will cause an 85 percent increase in dementia-related healthcare costs worldwide. By 2050, the U.S. alone will pay a projected $1.2 trillion.
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/the-dutch-village-where-everyone-has-dementia/382195/

h/t +Isaiah R 

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2015-08-11 06:49:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

h/t +Rex Dexter 

___h/t +Rex Dexter 

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2015-08-11 06:47:52 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

27,000 people. If you don't know much about the man, find out! In my opinion (and looky, 27,000 peopel in LA) if  there is any candidate that is "*of* the People, for the People", it is Bernie Sanders.
#feelthebern #bernie2016  

Check out the pics from Bernie's humongous rally in LA Monday Night.    This momentum is like a freight train on steroids.
              pics and more here: ☛ http://goo.gl/79jIeI

#BernieInLA   #FeelTheBern   #mydailybernie  ___27,000 people. If you don't know much about the man, find out! In my opinion (and looky, 27,000 peopel in LA) if  there is any candidate that is "*of* the People, for the People", it is Bernie Sanders.
#feelthebern #bernie2016  

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2015-08-11 06:25:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Note to self: read this again. And again. And then cogitate on the ideas. Then read again. Then perhaps comment on original thread.

Myth is not the opposite of fact.  Fiction is the opposite of fact.  While one can argue that myths are fictional, it is psychologically and emotionally healthier to keep myth as myth and let fiction stand as fact's opposite.

Why does this matter?  Because our current dominant myths treat the holy books--the Torah, the Bible and the Quran--as historically factual documents.  To be a good believer one must accept as historical facts all of the characters, events, and statements made in those books.

The result is that we live in a strangely isolated era in human history where most cannot even consider an alternative to the argument that if it's not all completely true, then it's all worthless.  We don't know how to experience a myth, much less abundantly live with one.  We live in a kind of Myth 101 phase of spirituality, but within a complex and rational world where all of our senses and our intellect constantly bombard us with the knowledge that our myth and our experience of life are in constant conflict.

The problem is that we never stop being human.  From birth to death, we are members of a species defined by consciousness intimately tuned to mythological yearning, experience, and understanding.  Again, myth is not the opposite of fact.

I spent some time with a Christian in crisis.  She doubts her faith--a natural thing, we all have moments of spiritual crisis.  Her barrier was her psychological equipment.  She, like most, live with that religion-based either/or dichotomy.  Either a religion is all true, or it's all worthless.  And if it's all worthless, then who am I?  What matters?  What does it all mean?  That's frightening stuff.  Nothing in most of our childhoods and upbringings give us the equipment to usefully grapple with those moments.  Much less emerge spiritually refreshed.

The crisis moments come, for virtually everybody, for a reason.  Our consciousness requires more of us than creeds spoken in earnest sincerity that everything written is historically accurate, and therefore religiously fundamental--and now we're done, life's lessons complete.  Go forth and judge others, knowing that you are saved.  It's not enough.  It's not accurate, given what we know of life.  Grown up experience of life and world conflicts with what we've been told, and we reach those crisis points.

There are few sadder human animals than one who is doubting her myth--having never understood her myth--and who now starts to see the wasteland around her.  

An aside:  Try not to be a person who attacks another's myth.  State your myth, there is no need to attack another's.  At best, you come off as shrill and mean-spirited, not, as some fancy themselves in their self-justified violence, as elevated, worldly and enlightened.  At worst you may contribute to the destruction of the only thing keeping that other human on course and out of the abyss.  Have faith.  Give others the courtesy of not trying to shame them for theirs.

So, what do you do with a Judeo/Christian/Moslem believer when she opens that door and (speaking mythologically) actually lets god into the conversation?  She's going to start to immediately notice the incongruities between this god and the one she's been told is real.  She's going to start to doubt everything she's been told, which now places in jeopardy everything she's believed.  If the god of her instruction is not real, then who is this god?  Is that god at all?  Is it--gasp!--Satan?  Around and around it goes, the doubting believer running in tight little mental, emotional and spiritual circles, gasping and afraid.  Because what do these doubt say about her?  Her soul?  If there is a soul.  Doubt piling upon doubt.  "Oh, god, what do I do?"

First.  Deep breath.  

Another aside:  Breathing is so important and so frequently overlooked.  Seriously.  Breath is life.  It's one of the first things you check for as an emergency caregiver:  patient is/is not breathing, has/has no patent airway.  As an experiment, try to make yourself become conscious of your breathing now and then through the day.  How you're breathing reflects your consciousness in any given moment.  Control your breathing, begin to control your consciousness, control your life.  As an EMT some of my best medicine is to simply coach the patient's breathing.  

Next, realize that you have no magic pill for the doubting believer.  Give up any notion that you "fix" somebody, that your own ideas on the matter of belief will set right another.  I think that many of us have this fixer impulse to get rid of the problem, shut up the suffering human.  Relax.  You are one human acting out of your naturally compassionate nature for another human that is suffering.  That's quite enough.  

Also, don't panic.  You can meet this human and handle the mess.  We're all a mess anyway, so there's no fault in letting others show that now and then.  You're fine, you'll be fine.  Abandon the impulse to fix everything, meet with compassion, don't panic.

So, taking my own advice, now I have this suffering human who clenches and releases her hands, eyes constantly wandering in response to her spirit's need to find something mythologically tangible to hug and to hold onto.  I fell back on a spiritual chestnut.  I asked her, "How's your relationship with Santa Claus?"

She blinked.  I waited for it.  She became angry.  "God is not Santa Claus!"  I nodded.  Waited.  Then casually replied, "I like Santa Claus.  He's a good guy.  That whole be nice to others, don't be naughty thing."  She continued in her anger.  This would take time, but I knew that.  More time than one session at a table.  It'd taken her whole life to reach this point.  So, I relaxed and let her be angry.  "An interesting thing about Santa Claus:  we reach a point where we stop believing in him, but later some of us find ourselves becoming him for believers."

"Are you saying my faith is childish?" she challenged.  Isn't it interesting that even in the depths of our personal doubt we can still muster offense when another even hints that our belief is less than perfect and perfectly true?  I poured more coffee for both of us and replied, "I'm saying that if Santa Claus did not exist we'd probably invent him.  He's a great idea when we believe in him, and he's a great idea when we stop believing he's a man in a workshop at the North Pole and we joyfully step into his boots from time to time."

A change in perspective.  That's all I was offering.  When another believes that Heaven and Hell are true and real, that death is the start of either eternal suffering or eternal perfection in a perpetual 35-year-old body, you don't start by saying, "You know that's all bullshit, right?"  To do so would be cruel, and it would avoid an essential point.

We don't need things to be historically true for them to have real value and meaning in our lives.  When Jesus said "I and the Father are one" he was delivering a profound spiritual/psychological message.  It was so incendiary that he was politically executed for it.  When Buddha simply touched the ground in response to everything that the old ways could throw at him, he affirmed for himself and for us that the earth witnesses our being, and that not even a god may deny what earth has witnessed.  When Sam picked up Frodo and carried him the last mile to the fiery core of Mount Doom, he saved his friend and his world by simply acting out of his authentic nature.

Musing on these things, drinking coffee with a suffering other, I remembered something and chuckled.  She said, "What?"  I cleared my throat and did my best Katherine Hepburn impression:  "Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put on this world to rise above."  And that character should know.  Rose, Ms. Hepburn's character, had sublimated so much of her nature that her life had become a joyless round of hymns and chasing after her weak-minded brother on his missions among the heathen natives.  All in quest of some after-life reward of--something.  Some perfection unattainable on earth.  All of nature, including one's own nature, the disgusting remnant of a fall back in the Garden of Eden when Woman bit a piece of fruit and recommended it to her husband.  When all is fallen, where is the joy in right here, right now?  It takes a monolithic god and a monolithic fact-based creed to create any sense of joy.

Until the doubt comes.  Because earth and life and nature are our experiences.  The god inside of us never leaves.  He/she/it just taps now and then.  Visits us in dreams.  Tries to tell us things that we may or may not listen to.  

I did not fix my suffering friend.  That was not my job.  Nor is it my nature to tell her to read her Bible to re-achieve untroubled faith.  I want her troubled just enough to read her Bible for itself, to love it in a new and wonderful way.  I'd like her not so troubled that she gives up and becomes a bitter human that spins out her days in wrath against everything and everybody--never realizing that she and the Father are one, never becoming affirmed in simply touching the ground, never acting out of her own nature to save another and save the world.

I think she'll be fine.  She'll either accommodate her existing religion and its god, which will give her peace.  Or, she'll have the courage to try, and the luck to achieve a change in spiritual perspective.  Let the world--as it is--explode outward and inward in all its awesomeness and purpose.  Find out that myth is not the opposite of fact.  That facts are tools: they should be cared for and properly used, and that tools must never control their user.  

And that myths help us know how to live fully human lives.  That's a fact.  Hug your myth.  Get way into it, and get over yourself.  There's so much more for you to be and do, given a chance.

I'll keep the coffee on.

//___Note to self: read this again. And again. And then cogitate on the ideas. Then read again. Then perhaps comment on original thread.

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2015-08-10 10:46:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

US expats: FATCA is not your friend

US expats: FATCA is not your friend___

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2015-08-10 10:24:51 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

US expats: Do you know about FATCA? What you don't know, can hurt you.

#fatca #usaexpats #expatlife  

US expats: Do you know about FATCA? What you don't know, can hurt you.

#fatca #usaexpats #expatlife  ___

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2015-08-10 08:55:09 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Tho I am an US expat, this is my "State of record". And this man does not represent me, and I will cast my vote for someone else.
I wish expats had their own representatives. After all there are 5-6 million of us. We should be able to make our voice heard.

Btw, US expats, if you don't know about this site yet, this is an organization that is trying to get our voices heard: https://americansabroad.org/

Tho I am an US expat, this is my "State of record". And this man does not represent me, and I will cast my vote for someone else.
I wish expats had their own representatives. After all there are 5-6 million of us. We should be able to make our voice heard.

Btw, US expats, if you don't know about this site yet, this is an organization that is trying to get our voices heard: https://americansabroad.org/___

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2015-08-09 12:34:41 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

This is what I actually believe about Monsanto. In my opinion they are trying to get a stranglehold on ALL seed, thus making the world dependent upon them. There is seed that replicates itself. Most seed actually does that naturally. And Monsanto is working to shut that down, so that the only seed that is viable, they will supply. Foe One year. then you have to buy seed for the next year.
 NOT OK.

http://wakeup-world.com___This is what I actually believe about Monsanto. In my opinion they are trying to get a stranglehold on ALL seed, thus making the world dependent upon them. There is seed that replicates itself. Most seed actually does that naturally. And Monsanto is working to shut that down, so that the only seed that is viable, they will supply. Foe One year. then you have to buy seed for the next year.
 NOT OK.

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2015-08-09 10:51:02 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

I guess her really has respect for his constituency.... not. As if no one would notice.

___I guess her really has respect for his constituency.... not. As if no one would notice.

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2015-08-08 17:46:13 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

A very interesting point of view on Donald Trump by Penn Jillette. Does not make me think any more of Mr. Trump, but does let me respect P. Jillette.



#feelthebern #berniesanders2016  

A very interesting point of view on Donald Trump by Penn Jillette. Does not make me think any more of Mr. Trump, but does let me respect P. Jillette.



#feelthebern #berniesanders2016  ___

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2015-08-07 09:07:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Posting this to remind myself. I am hanging in sorrow and regret and anxiety at the moment.....


Yes

___Posting this to remind myself. I am hanging in sorrow and regret and anxiety at the moment.....

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2015-08-07 09:03:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

End of the article (for tl;dr folk)
In contrast to Clinton, Sanders has supported the issue of gay marriage since 2000, vehemently opposed the Iraq War, opposes TPP, wants student loan debt reforms, fights for veterans, and isn't afraid to blast "too big to fail" Wall Street firms. As for him being an "avowed Socialist," George Bush's $700 billion bailout of banks was textbook socialism, so Sanders will be able to shrug off the label after one or two televised debates. Bernie Sanders represents a new era in American politics; one where values trump Citizens United cash or cold pragmatism. America needs a human being like Sanders, now more than ever before.

Take a break from the republican mouth circus tonight, read this good news, and then bid a bittersweet farewell to Jon Stewart. That's my plan for the evening.___End of the article (for tl;dr folk)
In contrast to Clinton, Sanders has supported the issue of gay marriage since 2000, vehemently opposed the Iraq War, opposes TPP, wants student loan debt reforms, fights for veterans, and isn't afraid to blast "too big to fail" Wall Street firms. As for him being an "avowed Socialist," George Bush's $700 billion bailout of banks was textbook socialism, so Sanders will be able to shrug off the label after one or two televised debates. Bernie Sanders represents a new era in American politics; one where values trump Citizens United cash or cold pragmatism. America needs a human being like Sanders, now more than ever before.

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2015-08-05 09:11:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Improv Everywhere.... improv everyone? Just do it- its fun!

(I can speak from experience... "playing" with a friend or two, taking on a character and giving the people around a memory. One of my favorites, two of us were in a cashier line at the market, but were were paying separately.
So after while cashier starts ringing up my stuff, my friend starts pretending to try to pick me up- getting more and more outrageous. In the end, I pretended that I was taking this strange man home. People were caught up- and somehow didn't realize I was having giggling fits inbetween our off the wall pickup act "theater")

Improv Everywhere Gives Visitors at Washington Square Park a Surprise Ballet Performance___Improv Everywhere.... improv everyone? Just do it- its fun!

(I can speak from experience... "playing" with a friend or two, taking on a character and giving the people around a memory. One of my favorites, two of us were in a cashier line at the market, but were were paying separately.
So after while cashier starts ringing up my stuff, my friend starts pretending to try to pick me up- getting more and more outrageous. In the end, I pretended that I was taking this strange man home. People were caught up- and somehow didn't realize I was having giggling fits inbetween our off the wall pickup act "theater")

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2015-08-04 11:33:28 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Take the one victory one, use it to win more. Don't turn on each other. Support and be supported. There are so many more of us, than them... and us needs to stick together.


h/t +Christopher Vallo 

___Take the one victory one, use it to win more. Don't turn on each other. Support and be supported. There are so many more of us, than them... and us needs to stick together.


h/t +Christopher Vallo 

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2015-08-03 11:59:26 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Yes, yes, yes this!!!!



h/t +Elisa T & +Mud hooks (I didn't share their post because I wanted the words to show in the link)

Yes, yes, yes this!!!!



h/t +Elisa T & +Mud hooks (I didn't share their post because I wanted the words to show in the link)___

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2015-08-02 10:54:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Even if he changes the system a little bit in the direction that he has been moving all his life, that would be for the better.

#WinBernieWin #FeeltheBern #Women4Bernie #BernieSanders #DemocraticSocialism #RockTheVote ___Even if he changes the system a little bit in the direction that he has been moving all his life, that would be for the better.

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2015-07-31 10:02:52 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Raising the bandwidth.... perhaps someone seeing this will want to play? Or pass it on.

For all of my fellow Google+ people, this is one of the few times I post something that is, on a serious note of direct relation to myself and my personal endeavors, that you are all able to help me with, if you so choose, or are into this sort of thing. Please take the time to read, share, comment or plus if you will. I'm not going to spam you guys with this, but I appreciate anyone willing to do me a solid, on it.

Twitch.tv was brought to my attention by +Farrell Helios a while back as a useful way to stream gaming content to friends and followers, and I've recently taken it up myself. It's a very slow process to build a following of folks who enjoy watching, and interacting with a gamer doing what they enjoy. It allows people to see the games I may be playing, experience my reactions and idle banter, and interact using a chat window. It's effectively a way of digitally emulating the feel of sitting behind me and having a chat while I game, in my free time.

So recently I've been stepping my game up on Twitch, and have started to stream much more regularly, with a lot of encouragement from my friends and loved ones. I know that videogame livestreams are not everyone's thing, but anywhore, here's what's new: The stream location has not changed. It's still located at--

http://www.twitch.tv/atomicnomnom

and has been remodeled a bit. I've been playing near every day, with the encouragement I've received from +Kush Khan and the help she's given to keep the viewing open, I've developed a very tiny startup following. 

Then, at the suggestion of another +Gregory Pratt whom has played alongside and joined in a few of the streams, I've recently added a donation link to the page, which serves as a means of giving supporters an option to help build the stream. Donations aren't required, but those who want to are more than welcome to, and they help expand content, by pushing me closer to being able to purchase a wider variety of games, equipment, et cetera, and expand the content of the stream. This link can be found on the page, and is here for reference--

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=XW4QGEBMUB4MA

Finally at the suggestion of another follower on the stream, who I assume to be another friend from G+ but I'm unsure of because the names are different. I've found another service to offer: My Twitch also has a link which allows viewers to purchase games, services and accessories from a retailer that provides them on the cheap, and using the link leading from my page will also generate revenue for yours truly. This link is found here--

https://www.g2a.com/?reflink=user-55bb03bb0327e

The reasoning for writing this is because I'm hoping to keep this up, and with a little good fortune may be able to expand my following, to a point of being able to do livestreams for a living. 

If anyone would like to help this along, feel free to check out the stream, which usually operates on a tentative schedule in the afternoons/evenings EST if you're interested in viewing. If you like it, follow, if you don't that's okay. If you're not into that sort of thing you're also able to help by sharing this post, if you like to friends or circles who MIGHT be interested. Fellow gamers, streamers or people interested in my particular brand of fuckery. Any little bit can help me make this thing a reality, so I do strongly encourage that people pass this post around, and help me reach as many people as possible. Shout outs will definitely be given to anyone who helps me expand the reach of this info.

Disclaimer: Those of you who know me, this goes without saying. My stream is meant to be viewed by a mature audience. I play violent and M rated games, I curse like a fucking sailor and I occasionally drink while streaming. It's not exactly an after school special.___Raising the bandwidth.... perhaps someone seeing this will want to play? Or pass it on.

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2015-07-31 09:53:12 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

What goes on in the head of the man pulling the trigger?
I mean, really  what? Can anyone give me an idea? I just can't....



h/t +David Bee 

___What goes on in the head of the man pulling the trigger?
I mean, really  what? Can anyone give me an idea? I just can't....



h/t +David Bee 

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2015-07-30 20:36:51 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Faux news..... <sarcasm>

#AllLionsMatter___Faux news..... <sarcasm>

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2015-07-30 09:34:42 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Comment Attribute to: +Rugger Ducky (stole it from the post)
This is how our police are supposed to act. That we are stunned to see an act of basic humanity from a police officer says more about our police crisis in this nation than anything else could.

h/t +Valkyrie 

Cop Has Breakfast with Homeless Man instead of Tasering Him

#floridawoman  ___Comment Attribute to: +Rugger Ducky (stole it from the post)
This is how our police are supposed to act. That we are stunned to see an act of basic humanity from a police officer says more about our police crisis in this nation than anything else could.

h/t +Valkyrie 

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2015-07-30 09:28:44 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

<edit> US Residents (no provision for expats....)
If Elizabeth Warren is backing this- I am all for it.

Signed.
And you?

#GlassSteagall #ElizabethWarren  

Stand with Elizabeth Warren: Tell Congress to rein in Wall Street with the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act 

"Pass the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. Enough is enough. It's time to restore sanity to Wall Street and the banking system."

Wall Street is going to hate this: Glass-Steagall is back with a vengeance, in a new bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator John McCain.1

For decades, the original Glass-Steagall Act separated general banking, like savings deposits and small business loans, from the kind of high-risk speculative trading done by investment banks that crashed the economy. 

But ever since banks first started chipping away at the law in the 1980’s, we’ve seen a resurgence of risky gambles and financial crashes. 

The new, “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act” would help fix that problem by declaring that Wall Street mega-banks can engage in high-risk trading all they want – but not if they also take out federally-insured deposits.2

Big banks, right-wing conservatives, and corporate Democrats will stop at nothing to keep this proposal from becoming law. 

We need to seize on the momentum from the bill’s bipartisan introduction to demand that it become law – and show that Americans will not stop fighting for bold action against Wall Street greed.

After Glass-Steagall passed in the 1930’s in response to the Great Depression, America entered a long period of financial stability built on a simple trade-off. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) would insure the money everyday Americans deposited in banks, ensuring middle class economic stability. 

In return, any bank that took deposits could not engage in risky trades and speculative gambles. It was a clear bright line between boring, essential banking and the wild chase for profits.3

But as Senator Warren put it, “That high wall between high-risk trading and boring banking was punched full of holes until in the late 1990s, it was knocked down when Glass-Steagall was eventually repealed. 

And not long after that, the worst crash since the 1930s hit the American economy.”4 

The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act is a modern, updated version of the old law, designed to tackle the complexities of modern banking, but Glass-Steagall is fundamentally about setting tough, clear rules and forcing Wall Street to work for Main Street, not the other way around.

This law is needed today more than ever before. 

The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act has been introduced in years past, and regularly attracts a broad cohort of bipartisan sponsors. 

But today, the biggest banks continue to balloon in size and control huge portions of our economy.5 

Risky trading continues, with high-frequency computer-driven trading adding new risks.6 

And nearly five years after Congress passed Wall Street reform, the Federal Reserve continues to delay implementing the Volcker Rule, a ban on using federally insured funds for risky trades that is considered “Glass-Steagall light.”7,8

A massive push for this legislation right now will press corporate Democrats to back down, and expose the right-wing Republicans who are siding with Wall Street. 

We need to speak loud and clear, demand that Congress act, and boldly show that Americans won’t tolerate inaction any longer.

Stand with Elizabeth Warren: Tell Congress to rein in Wall Street with the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.

Thank you for speaking out.

Kevin Cirilli, “Warren, McCain introduce bill to bring back Glass-Steagall,” The Hill, July 7, 2015. Ibid.

The Roosevelt Institute, “Looking Back at the Repeal of Glass-Steagall, or, How the Banks Caught Casino Fever,” RooseveltInstitute.org, retrieved July 19, 2015.

Cirilli, “Warren calls for return of Glass-Steagall.”
Jeff Cox, “Too big to fail banks just keep getting bigger,” CNBC.com, March 5, 2015.

Nick Baumann, “Too Fast to Fail: Is High-Speed Trading the Next Wall Street Disaster?,” Mother Jones, January 2013.

Wallace Turbeville, “What is the Volcker Rule?,” Demos, December 9, 2013.
Zach Carter, “Fed Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift,” Huffington Post, December 18, 2015.

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Elizabeth_Warren_Glass_Steagall/?sp_ref=138257036.4.14876.o.1.2&referring_akid=.4569749.-o1MI8&source=clickcopy_sp___<edit> US Residents (no provision for expats....)
If Elizabeth Warren is backing this- I am all for it.

Signed.
And you?

#GlassSteagall #ElizabethWarren  

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2015-07-30 09:24:59 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

You just have to wrap your head around that. Not the wage of those few on Wall Street- just alone the bonuses

You just have to wrap your head around that. Not the wage of those few on Wall Street- just alone the bonuses___

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2015-07-30 09:15:58 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

And.... think on this (from 20 13- and it only has gotten worse) :
The $26.7 billion Wall Streeters pocketed in bonuses would cover the cost of more than doubling the paychecks for all of the 1,085,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/03/12/wall-streets-2013-bonuses-were-more-than-all-workers-earned-making-the-federal-minimum/

h/t +Rex Dexter 

___And.... think on this (from 20 13- and it only has gotten worse) :
The $26.7 billion Wall Streeters pocketed in bonuses would cover the cost of more than doubling the paychecks for all of the 1,085,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/03/12/wall-streets-2013-bonuses-were-more-than-all-workers-earned-making-the-federal-minimum/

h/t +Rex Dexter 

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