Americans Drastically Underestimate the Number of Poor People in Their Country

I find this graph interesting in two ways.  (1) Look at the top right image.  That reflects the income strata in Germany.  Notice how it is weighted at the middle-income level.  (2)  Now look at the bottom right image.  That reflects the income distribution in the United States.  Notice the huge number of poor and the relatively small middle-income.  To the left of both of these images is how people in Germany and the U.S. think income in their country is distributed. Look how out of kilter what Americans think is to the reality.

I like the reality in Germany best.  That’s roughly the way the U.S. was in the 1950s and ’60s.

Middle Class in Germany

(Image via

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August 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM 2 comments

People Should Not Have the “Freedom” to Destroy the Planet

CARBON is the first film in the Green World Rising Series.


August 20, 2014 at 1:28 PM Leave a comment

The Best Awful Restaurant Review Ever

I love reading bad restaurant reviews, especially the few-and-far-between ones that don’t soften their language and beat around the bush when they obviously hated the place.  Here’s one of the best I’ve read yet, from Ryan Sutton over at NY Eater, about the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York City:

Tavern on the Green logo

Tavern on the Green is a former sheep barn that Robert Moses, in 1934, turned into what would eventually become one of New York’s most famous restaurants, under the management of great names like Joe Baum and Warner LeRoy, and with cameos in films like Ghostbusters and Wall Street. It’s one of the few New York hangouts that an out-of-town culinary novices could name with ease, which probably explains why it was once America’s highest grossing independent eatery — a title it could very well claim again, as it currently feeds 900-1000 guests on weekdays, and up to 1,700 on weekends.


Those numbers themselves mean the Tavern is a de facto gastronomic ambassador for the Big Apple, an unfortunate phenomenon for a venue whose $22 mac ‘n’ cheese is real prison slop. And when the waiter upsells you into topping it off with salmon — because what’s better than oily fish to pair with cheese-y, mushy, pasta — you’ll have spent $32 on what is surely one the worst things anyone can eat outside of Rikers.


This could be a turnip. This could be a potato. This could be anything,” my companion says of the roasted Japanese eggplant, devoid of flavor. Gruyere and goat cheese sandwiches, two tiny halves for $14, boast more grease than a lube job. Mushrooms, nominally affordable at $9, still overpriced because they’re the same criminis you could find at a supermarket for $1.50. They sit in bowl above a slice of baguette to soak up all the juices. Except there are no juices.


You go Ryan!

Keep reading.  At the end the author calls it a “shitshow.”


August 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM Leave a comment

Wacky Weather

I live in Boulder, Colorado where last September we saw “biblical” amounts of rain and lots and lots of flooding.  Estimates are it will take three or four years to fully recover.  Some people still haven’t been able to return to their homes.  So, when I hear about other “biblical,” “record-breaking,” “historic” rainfall amounts, I perk up:

At least 36 people have been killed in Japan as landslides started by torrential rain hit the outskirts of the city of Hiroshima, including several children, police and local media have said.


“There was rain and thunder all night, beating down so hard I was scared to go outside,” a resident told Fuji TV. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Helicopters clattered overhead, lifting out survivors, as rescue workers searched through mud and piles of stones in residential areas about 5km from the city centre.


About 240mm of rain fell in the area in the 24 hours up to Wednesday morning, record-breaking levels equivalent to a month’s worth of rain in a usual August.


And then there’s this from Mexico City

Hail in Mexico City

(Image via BlueHair-IDontCare on Twitter)

A hailstorm of mammoth proportions hammered sections of Mexico City Sunday. Several feet of hail piled up, making some city roads impassable.

“Roads such as the North Loop [el Periférico Norte] were flooded by hail and flooding, so municipal and Federal District workers labored for hours to clear them, Notimex reported,” wrote CNN Mexico.

Mexico news organization Azteca Noticias called it a “historical hailstorm”.



August 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM Leave a comment

Ferguson, MO Hires All-White PR Firm

Per Andrea Peterson, a tech reporter for the Washington Post, the town of Ferguson, Missouri just hired a PR firm, “Common Ground Public Relations.”  Here’s a photo of “the team” from their website.  Not only are they all white, they’re sooo young:

Common Ground pr from  common

(Image via

See original here.

Good luck kids!


August 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM 2 comments

Time, Inc., Wants its Writers to Cater to Advertisers

What passes for “journalism” in the corporatocracy that is the USA circa 2014:

Time Magazine logo

Time Inc. has fallen on hard times. Would you believe that this once-proud magazine publishing empire is now explicitly rating its editorial employees based on how friendly their writing is to advertisers?


Here you see an internal Time Inc. spreadsheet that was used to rank and evaluate “writer-editors” at (Time Inc. provided this document to the Newspaper Guild, which represents some of their employees, and the union provided it to us.) The evaluations were done as part of the process of deciding who would be laid off. Most interesting is this ranking criteria: “Produces content that [is] beneficial to advertiser relationship.”


I don’t guess I’ll be reading TIME magazine anymore.

August 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM Leave a comment

John McCain Campaigns with Scott Brown in New Hampshire

As you probably know, Scott Brown, the former Senator from Massachusetts, is now running for the Senate in New Hampshire. Poor guy. He’s like a man without a country.  Massachusetts voted him out in favor of Elizabeth Warren so he went in search of another state and he landed in NH.

Anyway, he’s holding a campaign rally this morning and John McCain’s there as the supposed draw, because apparently Brown isn’t enough of one on his own.  Looks raucous huh?

Tweet of the day 8-18-14


August 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM Leave a comment

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