Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


ND-Dem's Journal
ND-Dem's Journal
March 23, 2015

Record % of unemployed workers without benefits (> 75% don't get UE)

With no federal unemployment insurance and rapidly disappearing state coverage, the percentage of people benefiting from unemployment insurance is at its lowest level in more than three decades, according to a report by According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on low- and middle-income families.

EPI said the unemployment insurance recipiency rate tumbled to 23.1 percent in December 2014, beating the previous record low of 25 percent set in September 1984.

State lawmakers continue to slash jobless benefits, enacting policies that make it harder for the programs to work effectively. The policies have a disproportionate impact on unemployed Blacks who often face greater challenges than Whites, as they struggle to stay connected to the labor market and make ends meet while they search for jobs.

“Many critics of UI programs wrongly assume that the lion’s share of jobless workers get benefits,” stated the report. “This is plainly wrong over the history of UI and especially in the more restrictive states. The U.S. short-term recipiency rate was 34.7 percent in 2014, meaning that over 65 percent of short-term jobless workers did not get state UI benefits...”

Even though unemployment rates are higher for Blacks than Whites, Blacks are less likely to receive unemployment benefits even when compared to workers with similar characteristics.
“One in 4 unemployed non-Hispanic White workers with less than a high school education receive UI, while 1 in 8 unemployed non-Hispanic Black workers with less than a high school education receive UI,” the Urban Institute report explained. “This means many low-wage unemployed African American workers are likely suffering more economic hardship than their White counterparts—an especially adverse outcome given that African Americans likely have fewer assets to fall back on.”


March 23, 2015

The Internet as a repressive medium: How it strengthens dictatorships

TED Fellow and journalist Evgeny Morozov punctures what he calls "iPod liberalism" -- the assumption that tech innovation always promotes freedom, democracy -- with chilling examples of ways the Internet helps oppressive regimes stifle dissent.

March 22, 2015

For liberal Israelis, Netanyahu's win is a reality check

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli liberals woke up after national elections with a demoralizing feeling: Most of the country, in a deep and possibly irreversible way, does not think like they do.

There had been a sense of urgency among moderate Israelis, and even an ounce of hope, that widespread frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's six straight years in office would lead voters to pull Israel away from what they perceive as its rightward march toward international isolation, economic inequality and a dead end for peace with the Palestinians.

But as the results trickled in on Wednesday, they showed Likud with a shocking lead that has all but guaranteed Netanyahu a third consecutive term. Netanyahu called it a victory "against all odds." The liberals' optimism has been replaced with despair — and an infuriating belief that the masses may never understand that logic shows the current path is suicidal...

The anger was about far more than the election, reflecting a larger and more dramatic battle for the heart of the country. Israel's founding fathers were Jews of Ashkenazi, or eastern European, descent and the ideological predecessors of the Labor party, the main faction in the rebranded Zionist Union. The left led the country for its first three decades until Likud — heavily backed by working class Jews of Mizrahi, or Middle Eastern, descent — gained power in 1977.

The Labor Party returned to power in the 1990s, leading the first efforts at peace with the Palestinians. But the Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s saw the return of hawkish rule, which in one form or another has lasted until today...


March 21, 2015

WWII Vet Reads Long-Lost Love Letter (Sweet news for the day)

A World War II veteran who was recently reunited with a love letter he wrote to his then-sweetheart more than 70 years ago broke down in tears while reading his own words.

Bill Moore was 20 years old in 1944 when he wrote a letter to a young woman named Bernadean that he met while on furlough during the war, not knowing that he would go on to marry her.

The letter was found in the sleeve of a record that was purchased by a stranger in a thrift shop. The stranger went on a search to reunite the letter with its author.

Moore, now 90, now lives in an assisted care facility in Aurora, Colorado. His daughter was contacted shortly before Valentine's Day this year by the person who unintentionally bought the letter, and Moore was overcome with emotion when he read it for the first time in 70 years.

Moore was fighting in Patton's Third Army at the time and what he didn't know when he wrote that letter was that he would go on to marry the woman he called "my darling, lovable, alluring, Bernadean" and have three children together.

They were married for 63 years before she died in 2010.

"I loved her ... she loved me and that's all I can tell you is the heartache of not being with her all the time," he told KMGH.


March 20, 2015

Top ten happiest countries are in Latin America

Today is International Happiness Day! Celebrate by passing along some happiness!


The top 10 happiest countries are in Latin America.

When it comes to happiness, Latin America must be onto something.

Gallup surveyed people in 143 countries to rank the happiest nations, and found that the entire top 10 were found in Latin America. Paraguay scored the top spot, and Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala all tied for second. Meanwhile, the least-happy nations were all found to be in the Middle East and North Africa. (See below for the top 10 and bottom 10 countries in the ranking.)

For the survey, Gallup developed a “happiness score” for each country based on responses from survey participants, who were asked if they had five positive experiences the day before the survey. Gallup tallied the “yes” responses to five questions from roughly 1,000 people in each country surveyed. The questions included:

1.Did you feel well-rested yesterday?

2.Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?

3.Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?

4.Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?

5.Did you experience a lot of the following feelings during the day yesterday? How about enjoyment?


March 20, 2015

The Middle Class Is Struggling in All 50 States

If the first decade and a half is any guide, the 21st century will not be known as the era of the middle class in the U.S.

The middle class shrunk in all 50 states between 2000 and 2013, and median income, adjusted for inflation, was lower at the end of 2013 in the vast majority of states than it was in 2000, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trust’s Stateline. The analysis, conducted by Stateline’s Tim Henderson, defines “middle class” as individuals earning between 67 percent and 200 percent of the state’s median income.

The study analyzed self-reported data from the Census Bureau through the American Community Survey that samples a percentage of the population including illegal immigrants as well as other data.

“In most states, the growing percentage of households paying 30 percent (the federal standard for housing affordability) or more of their income on housing illustrates that it is increasingly difficult for many American families to make ends meet,” wrote Henderson.

The findings could have some interesting implications for the 2016 presidential race, since the plight of the middle class in states currently governed by some presidential hopefuls is particularly grim.

Wisconsin was the single worst performer, with the percentage of residents in the middle class falling 5.7 percentage points, from 54.6 percent to 48.9 percent over the period studied. Inflation-adjusted median income in the Badger State plunged from $60,344 in 2000 to $51,467 in 2013.



March 20, 2015

Americans tell Yahoo: Economy still lousy

Is the economy improving? It’s a simple question that divides friends and family and makes economists go prematurely gray. Unemployment is low, but so is the labor participation rate; new home construction is down but it was a snowy winter; U.S. economic confidence is positive but volatile.

So which is it? Are things getting better or worse? Our very own Rick Newman took to the streets of Times Square to find out.

Sentiment was mixed; for the most part people felt that things weren’t great, but that they were getting better. The number one complaint was about jobs. One man said he had college-educated friends who were making minimum wage at McDonald’s, a woman said it took her seven years to find a new job after being laid off, despite having a bachelor's and master's degree. Acknowledging that the unemployment rate is at 5.5%, she says, it feels a lot higher because of underemployment and the large number of people she knows who have given up on looking for a job.

The general feeling was that people were attempting to save more and spend less. A woman from Dallas, Texas said that she was saving more money because she took on a second job and put all earnings from that job away. A young man who used to spend upwards of $300 on a pair of shoes said that he was trying to reform and stop spending outside of his means in order to 'keep up with the Joneses.' The number one thing people were spending money on? A new cellphone, nearly everyone we spoke to said that was his or her largest purchase this year.


March 20, 2015

Tomorrow is International Day of Happiness. Celebrate! (Good News for the Day)

For the International Day of Happiness 2015 we're inviting everyone to focus on their connections with others...This campaign is a global celebration to mark the United Nations International Day of Happiness...March 20 has been established as the annual International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority...





and some other happy news...

Middle School Basketball Players Walked Off The Court To Defend A Cheerleader Being Bullied

Desiree Andrews is a student at Lincoln Middle School in Wisconsin who has Down Syndrome. While cheering for her basketball team on the sidelines, she became the target of harmful comments from the stands.

Three boys who were playing in the game overheard the comments directed at Desiree. They stopped the game, walked off the court, and took action.

"The kids in the audience were picking on Dee, so we all stepped forward," said player Chase Vazquez (pictured below on the left).

"It's not fair when other people get treated wrong because we're all the same. We're all created the same. God made us the same way," added player Scooter Terrien...

The last home game on March 9 was played in Desiree's honor, with the boys chanting "Whose house? Dee's house!"

Read more at http://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/1072/Middle-School-Basketball-Players-Walked-Off-The-Court-To-Defend-A-Cheerleader-Being-Bullied#sLdDbVIqbUOKLgor.99

March 19, 2015

The Company You Work For Is Not Your Friend

One thing becomes apparent after the honeymoon of a newly-launched career is over: Your employer—whether it’s a scrappy startup or a massive multi-million dollar company—is not your friend. You are a resource...

Sure, there are great jobs and companies out there that truly care about their employees. Those companies are rare, though, and you'll be lucky if you land a job with one of them. It's more likely you'll find a team or a boss that cares about you enough to keep every day from becoming soul-crushing drudgery.

For many of us though, we quickly learn—either through layoffs, bad bosses, or how they handle disputes—that the companies we work for aren't looking out for us. We learn the double standard of giving two weeks notice when we quit, even though the company can lay us off any time they choose with no warning. It sucks, but it's a reminder that you are your best ally...


March 19, 2015

Inside New York City's Most Mysterious Architectural Time Capsule

For the past half century, 190 Bowery has been a legend. The six-story, 72-room former bank building on the fringes of SoHo looked like a war zone on the outside, crumbling and covered in graffiti. And the inside, the home of a photographer with insane real estate luck—well—nobody really knew what was inside. Until now.

Animal New York editor Bucky Turco recently spent three days inside 190 Bowery in a crazy attempt to capture the bohemian paradise before the building's new owner shredded its historic interior. The former owner, street photography icon Jay Maisel, had bought the building for $102,000 way back in 1966 when the Bowery was still a bit of a cesspool. But after spending decades saying no to money-hungry developers—after 190 Bowery served as Roy Lichtenstein's studio and its walls as Keith Haring's canvas—Maisel finally sold the 35,000-square-foot building for a cool $55 million. Now, the historic building will blend in with the rest of its recently gentrified surroundings...



The Bowery (1891)

Oh! The night that I struck New York
I went out for a quiet walk
Folks who are "on to" the city say
Better by far that I took Broadway
But I was out to enjoy the sights
There was the Bow'ry ablaze with lights
I had one of the devil's own nights
I'll never go there any more

The Bowery! the Bowery!
They say such things and they do strange things
On the Bowery! The Bowery!
I'll never go there any more


Profile Information

Member since: Sun Jan 11, 2015, 10:34 PM
Number of posts: 4,571

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»ND-Dem's Journal