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This is an Open Thread
May 04 2012
May 04 2012
Well, then do us all a favor and quit you incompetent assholes!
Pre-recession unemployment rate is out of reach
A new report authored by a Federal Reserve president says unemployment cannot fall to pre-recession levels without an inflationary impact. So get used to high unemployment.
By Nin-Hai Tseng, Fortune
May 4, 2012: 11:50 AM ET
On Thursday, John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, suggested that perhaps Americans should lower their expectations given the challenges workers faces. A research note co-authored by Williams estimated that the lowest level of joblessness that can be reached without leading to inflation could be 6.5%. Before the recession, the unemployment rate was generally at around 5%.
In early 2009, eligibility for unemployment benefits was extended from 26 weeks to up to 99 weeks.
While such benefits reduce hardships for the unemployed, they might also “reduce the incentive of the unemployed to seek and accept less desirable jobs,” according to the report.
If workers are latching on to any hope that the economy has turned a corner, perhaps they’d be more realistic by hoping for a little less.
Don’t let the door hit you, you lazy useless gits.
May 04 2012
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States for years and it has now become America’s costliest disease:
U.S. hospitals are ripping out wall-mounted toilets and replacing them with floor models to better support obese patients. The Federal Transit Administration wants buses to be tested for the impact of heavier riders on steering and braking. Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.
[..] The startling economic costs of obesity, often borne by the non-obese, could become the epidemic’s second-hand smoke. Only when scientists discovered that nonsmokers were developing lung cancer and other diseases from breathing smoke-filled air did policymakers get serious about fighting the habit, in particular by establishing nonsmoking zones. The costs that smoking added to Medicaid also spurred action. Now, as economists put a price tag on sky-high body mass indexes (BMIs), policymakers as well as the private sector are mobilizing to find solutions to the obesity epidemic.
[..] The U.S. health care reform law of 2010 allows employers to charge obese workers 30 percent to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program. The law also includes carrots and celery sticks, so to speak, to persuade Medicare and Medicaid enrollees to see a primary care physician about losing weight, and funds community demonstration programs for weight loss.
[..] Because obesity raises the risk of a host of medical conditions, from heart disease to chronic pain, the obese are absent from work more often than people of healthy weight.
[..] The medical costs of obesity have long been the focus of health economists. A just-published analysis finds that it raises those costs more than thought.
[..] For years researchers suspected that the higher medical costs of obesity might be offset by the possibility that the obese would die young, and thus never rack up spending for nursing homes, Alzheimer’s care, and other pricey items.
There is a bright side to being obese:
An obese man is 64 percent less likely to be arrested for a crime than a healthy man. Researchers have yet to run the numbers on what that might save.
And it’s not just adults.
Solution lies in instilling healthy habits, not adding medication, experts say
An array of factors has been deemed key to a healthy heart by the American Heart Association, including maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels normal.
But half of U.S. kids meet just four or fewer of these health criteria, according to a report, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2012 Update, which was published in Circulation.
And, among those in high school, 30 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys do not get the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity, the report noted.
In addition, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in five children had abnormal cholesterol levels, which prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue new guidelines recommending that all children 9 to 11 years old be screened for high cholesterol levels.
Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
h/t watertiger at Dependable Renegade
May 04 2012
Tonight I have the honor of speaking to another of our generations brightest and best, the genius of Michael Parenti.
A true visionary, Parenti has been working tirelessly for decades to break the paradigm of political orthodoxy and bring us to a clearer vision of the realities we face under Capitalism and Empire.
Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, in the United States and abroad. He now serves on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, Education Without Borders, and the Jasenovic Foundation; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought. He also served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored.
Author of 24 books, we will be speaking about his latest, “The Face of Imperialism” and how it applies to our conditions at present.
His website is http://www.michaelparenti.org/
Michael is an amazing man, my problem will be mining his wonderful mind for everything I need to know in an hour-long format!!
Please Join us!
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Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm ET, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….
May 04 2012
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
Click on images to enlarge
May 4 is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 241 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1970, At Kent State University, 100 National Guardsmen fire their rifles into a group of students, killing four and wounding 11. This incident occurred in the aftermath of President Richard Nixon’s April 30 announcement that U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had been ordered to execute an “incursion” into Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese bases there. In protest, a wave of demonstrations and disturbances erupted on college campuses across the country.
There were no warnings when the Guardsmen opened fire. 60 rounds were fire into the crowd of demonstrators. After an investigation, all the charges were dropped against the National Guard in 1974.