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February 21, 2009

Food Banks facing record numbers

Newly Poor Swell Lines at Food Banks - NYTimes.com

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Once a crutch for the most needy, food pantries have responded to the deepening recession by opening their doors to what Rosemary Gilmartin, who runs the Interfaith Food Pantry here, described as “the next layer of people” — a rapidly expanding roster of child-care workers, nurse’s aides, real estate agents and secretaries facing a financial crisis for the first time.

Demand at food banks across the country increased by 30 percent in 2008 from the previous year, according to a survey by Feeding America, which distributes more than two billion pounds of food every year. And instead of their usual drop in customers after the holidays, many pantries in upscale suburbs this year are seeing the opposite.

Here in Morris County, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, the Interfaith pantry opened for an extra night last week to accommodate the growing crowds. Among the first-time visitors were Cindy Dreeszen and her husband, who both have steady jobs — his at a movie theater and hers at a government office — with a combined annual income of about $55,000.

Texas Congressman wants all ISPs and Wi-Fi providers to legally be required to keep logs

Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police | Politics and Law - CNET News

Am I wrong, or is he trying to un-anonymize the internet?

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

The legislation, which echoes a measure proposed by one of their Democratic colleagues three years ago, would impose unprecedented data retention requirements on a broad swath of Internet access providers and is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates.

"While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. "Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level."

Joining Cornyn was Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said such a measure would let "law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals."

Obama cutting taxes for 95% of America

Obama tells Treasury to begin cutting taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. Treasury on Saturday to implement tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans, fulfilling a campaign pledge he hopes will help jolt the economy out of recession.

The tax cuts are part of a $787 billion economic recovery plan passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress over Republican opposition. The aim is to put more money in the pockets of Americans and stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending.

"I'm pleased to announce that this morning the Treasury Department began directing employers to reduce the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks, meaning that by April 1st, a typical family will begin taking home at least $65 more every month," Obama said in his weekly radio address.

FreakAngels | Episode 0046

FreakAngels | Episode 0046 fa 0046.JPG FREAKANGELS is a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield

Soros: "...the world financial system has effectively disintegrated..."

The Raw Story | Soros: No bottom for world 'financial collapse'
Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis. Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union. He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system. "We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

February 20, 2009

The Panic of 1873 and the Long Depression

Panic of 1873 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Referenced recently by Prof. Krugman... a decade of crap awaits us.

William Shatner to run for PM of Canada

Captain Kirk wants to be Canadian PM - New Zealand's source for entertainment news, gossip & music, movie & book reviews on Stuff.co.nz

I heard a sound like a million comedy writers crying out at once, and then . . . silence.

The 'Star Trek' actor, who played Captain Kirk in the hit sci-fi TV show, is planning to make a dramatic career change and help lead his native country.

The 77-year-old star said: "My intention is to be Prime Minister of Canada, not Governor General, which is mainly a ceremonial position."

Shatner revealed his lofty ambition in response to a letter from a fan who urged him to put himself forward for the Governor General of Canada.

Cake Wrecks: These cakes hate you

Cake Wrecks: Passive Aggressive Cakes