Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 31, 2013

ALICE Americans, slipping out of the middle class

Working harder and yet caught between those in poverty who receive government support and a stable, if not thriving, middle class, the ALICE class’s resentments and disappointments continue to grow.

Though trying to reduce the complexity of an election down to a pithy label is a bit like condensing a symphony into a sound bite, the story of future elections will, in fact, come down to a single name — in this case, a female first name.

No, it’s not Hillary. It’s Alice.

ALICE is an acronym developed in a report for the United Way of Northern New Jersey. It stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. ALICE Americans live on the jagged edge of the middle class. But by virtue of their economic situation and outlook on the future, they are becoming as distinct from the relatively more comfortable parts of the middle class as they are from those living in poverty.

Americans have traditionally divided the country into three bands of income: rich, poor and a broad middle class in which, despite the protestations of statisticians, almost all Americans felt membership. But the distinct, cohesive middle class of the past is being cleaved in two. Last month the Census Bureau released new data pegging the median U.S. household income at $51,017. That income level is the new dividing line in American life and politics. Those roughly above that line constitute what is left of the traditional American middle class. Those living below that line, but above poverty, are the ALICE class.

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Cab Calloway – The Nightmare 1931 Halloween Clara Bow, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple

“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.” – Unknown


Bare Necessities – Pre Code (Sing, Sing, Sing)

“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.” William Shakespeare


The End of the New World Order

But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed.

In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.

The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington’s neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato’s eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia‘s response as an act of “aggression” that “must not go unanswered”. Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia’s “invasion of a sovereign state” to be “unacceptable in the 21st century”.

As the fighting ended, Bush warned Russia not to recognise South Ossetia’s independence. Russia did exactly that, while US warships were reduced to sailing around the Black Sea. The conflict marked an international turning point. The US’s bluff had been called, its military sway undermined by the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. After two decades during which it bestrode the world like a colossus, the years of uncontested US power were over.

Three weeks later, a second, still more far-reaching event threatened the heart of the US-dominated global financial system. On 15 September, the credit crisis finally erupted in the collapse of America’s fourth-largest investment bank. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers engulfed the western world in its deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

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October 30, 2013

Quick Pix: Robert Taylor w/Video

Robert Taylor (August 5, 1911 – June 8, 1969) was an American film and television actor who was one of the most popular leading men of his time. Taylor began his career in films in 1934 when he signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He won his first leading role the following year in Magnificent Obsession. His popularity increased during the late 1930s and 1940s with appearances in A Yank at Oxford (1938), Waterloo Bridge (1940), and Bataan (1943). During World War II, he served in the United States Naval Air Corps, where he worked as a flight instructor and appeared in instructional films.

Robert Taylor Wikipedia article.


Graphic Quotes: Will Rogers on What Republicans and Democrats Want

“Republicans want a man that can lend dignity to the office. Democrats want a man that will lend some money.” Will Rogers


Complete Classic Movie: Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff. Two bumbling American cops hunt for the mysterious Mr. Hyde in London, England.


The Haunted Palace – Trailer

“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.” – Unknown


The Who’s Roger Daltrey to Perform at U.S. Capitol

The rocker is celebrating a bust of Winston Churchill, which will be unveiled at an event attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and “2016: Obama’s America” filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

The Who lead singer Roger Daltrey is set to appear at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday where House Speaker John Boehner and others will dedicate a bust of Winston Churchill that will reside in the National Statuary Hall.

Daltrey is scheduled to sing a few songs, though the set list remains a state secret so far.

The ceremony is expected to attract an eclectic group of people, including Secretary of State John Kerry and members of the U.S. House and Senate on both sides of the aisle. In a bit of irony, conservative activist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza will also attend.

D’Souza’s film, 2016: Obama’s America, made a big deal of the fact that a bust of Churchill that had been in the Oval Office of the White House since 2001 was returned to the U.K. by President Barack Obama in 2009.

In the film, the second-most popular political documentary in history, D’Souza says Obama returned the bust because of a hatred for Churchill and colonialism. The bust is now at the home of the British ambassador to America.

D’Souza is not part of the program on Wednesday, but he is in the nation’s capital filming a follow-up to 2016. He told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday he would attend the non-partisan Churchill event as an invited guest.

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Suzanne Somers: The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme

What will the Affordable Care Act mean for retirees?

As a writer of 24 books mostly on health and wellness and by using my celebrity to get to the best and brightest doctors, scientists and medical professionals in the alternative and integrative health-care world, I have come to the following conclusions:

First of all, let’s call affordable health care what it really is: It’s socialized medicine.

I’ve had an opportunity to watch the Canadian version of affordable health care in action with all its limitations with my Canadian husband’s family. A few years ago, I was startled to see the cover of Maclean’s, a national Canadian magazine, showing a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline, “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” It went on to say that young Canadian medical students have no incentive to become doctors to humans because they can’t make any money. Instead, there is a great surge of Canadian students becoming veterinarians. That’s where the money is. A Canadian animal can have timely MRIs, surgeries and any number of tests it needs to receive quality health care.

My sister-in-law had to wait two months to get a General Practitioner. During this period she spent her days in bed vomiting continuously, unable to get any food or drink down because she couldn’t get an appointment with the doctor. When she finally did, the doctor said, “Oh you don’t need me, you need a specialist.” That took another two weeks until she got a pill that corrected the problem.

Really, is this what we want?

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