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Expat Files – 02.28.16

– Do I get occasional hate mail and complaints directed at myself or the Expat Files show? Off course, but I have pretty thick skin. On that note, today we have just such an email of complaint from a Canadian listener. Since Canadians are generally nicer and more civil than us guys from Chicago (or Cleveland), this listener is kind and gentle about his complaints and even throws in a backhanded compliment or two. Oh but don’t worry, in a future show I’ll read a few of the more evil email complaints. I get those too…

-Today we have a discussion about gringos and their use and abuse of the Spanish language. You’ll not hear this stuff anywhere else.

-Early on (or in due time) nearly every Expat Gringo or Gringa has a bad day or two: mostly when dealing with Latin bureaucracy, lousy customer service or Latin tardiness that leads to unintended consequences. True, Gringos do rage and blow up in public. I’ve done it myself. However, there are laid back Expats who don’t necessarily explode in frustration but merely count to 10 or 20 (or 200) and fume and seethe internally. Today we have a first-hand story of a long-term Expat’s full-blown public blowup.

-Supposed USA real-estate “gurus” and their seminars are rolling through in Latin America as we speak. Talk about slick! They’re selling off condos in Miami to upscale Latins who are dying to have bragging rights in what they consider the northern Latin “Mecca”. Yup, just 10% down- and buyers also get the huge side benefit of a special US immigration “investors’ visa and automatic permanent residency for the buyer (and family) along with the deal. Its stark proof that Latins don’t do their housing homework and that they’ve never had a US housing market history lesson.

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Homeless Given New Life after Working on a 22-Acre Organic Farm

Tackling homelessness, joblessness, and food insecurity all at once can seem like a daunting task, but Verde Farms in Miami, Florida is managing to do all three. The community farm has one saying: “For people, not for profit,” and they stay true to that credo. All money spent at the Verde Community Farmers Market and restaurant go toward hiring and …

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Jeannette Wicks-Lim – Is a $15 Minimum Wage Economically Feasible?

Campaigns like 15Now and Fight for $15 are bucking convention and demanding minimum-wage hikes far larger than what has been past practice. Take, for example, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007—one of the larger sets of increases in the federal minimum. This Act raised the federal wage floor by 40% in three steps: from $5.15 to $5.85 in 2007, …

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Patrick Martin – Obama administration prepares raids on Central American immigrants

The US Department of Homeland Security is preparing to unleash widespread raids on Central American immigrants, mainly women and children, once the new year begins, according to unnamed Obama administration officials who spoke with the press last week. It would be the first ever program of mass deportations to target Central American refugees specifically. Most are women and children who …

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Resistance Radio – Raven Gray – 12.27.15

Raven Gray is a visionary writer, educator and activist. A permaculture designer for over 15 years, she is a pioneer of the Transition Towns Movement. In 2007, she founded Transition US, a nonprofit that inspires the emergence of resilient communities that can thrive in the face of today’s environmental and social challenges. Raven holds a BA in “Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community” and an MSc in “Ecological Education”. She lives in the Point Reyes National Seashore, Northern California.

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Hundreds of Women in Immigrant Prison on Hunger Strike for Immediate Release

Just one week in, an indefinite hunger strike at an all-women’s immigrant detention center in Texas—operated by the for-profit prison company Corrections Corporation of America—has swelled to hundreds of refugees and migrants who are uniting behind a single demand: immediate freedom. While the exact number of participants is unknown, a person who regularly visits the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor …

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Ray McGovern – A Moral Challenge for Pope Francis

Pope Francis could use his visit to the U.S. this week to make unmistakably clear that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the “sanctity of life” applies to more than just the first nine months of gestation. If he does so, he would face formidable opposition. The bishops appointed by Francis’s two predecessors had to swear allegiance to anti-abortion principles while …

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The Most Common Job in 29 States to Nearly Vanish in 10 Years; Know What That Job Is? Michael Shedlock

 We used data from the Census Bureau, which has two catch-all categories: “managers not elsewhere classified” and “salespersons not elsewhere classified.” Because those categories are broad and vague to the point of meaninglessness, we excluded them from our map. Self-Driving Trucks Will Hit Us Like Ton of Bricks Please consider Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck. …

4 Reasons Climate Change Affects National Security – Reynard Loki

On Wednesday, the White House released a new report, “The National Security Implications of Changing Climate [3].” In concert with the release, President Obama delivered the commencement address at the United State Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, during which he argued that climate change ranks alongside terrorism as a primary threat to America’s future and criticized climate deniers in …