Last updated: Monday, June 17, 2019, 10:05 AM
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Aggregated News & Analyses
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Obama's ACA didn't fix this:
The U.S. wastes $1.8 Trillion per year on total for-profit health care spending compared with 2017 per capita average of comparable not for-profit advanced countries, which becomes extra cost overhead on U.S. exports—resulting in offshoring manufacturing and jobs. Let's end price gouging and adopt efficient practices instead of cutting Medicare and Medicaid coverage as part of some "Grand Bargain"
2017 US total per capita health care spending was $10,224 – $5322 more per person than in France, which is the highest rated system.
This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]
  • Five men vote to make Waskom ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’
  • Unconstitutional vote comes after series of bans nationwide
Sarah Marsh, Aamna Mohdin and Niamh McIntyre | The Guardian
So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]
A Canadian scientist wants us to rethink our approach to plastic and challenge the colonial system that produces it.
Katherine Martinko  | TreeHugger
We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]
In decades to come we must rethink our agriculture, our love of consumption and our short-termist priorities. It won’t be easy
Susanna Rustin | The Guardian
"The numbers needing relocation will grow, the costs are going up, and people's lives and cultural practices will be impacted."
Eoin Higgins, staff writer | Common Dreams
Shift from fossil fuels top of agenda for Paris air show, industry having lagged behind other sectors
Jasper Jolly  | The Guardian
The pipeline poses grave risk to animals and Indigenous communities. As leaders of four sovereign tribes, we are calling on the government to say no
Brian Cladoosby, Leonard Forsman, Teri Gobin and Jay Julius  | The Guardian
The state has just had its warmest spring on record, causing permafrost to thaw and dramatically reshaping some areas
Oliver Milman | The Guardian
Reuters | The Guardian
Oliver Laughland and Jamiles Lartey  | The Guardian
Consultants say 60% will be grown in vats or plant-based products that taste like meat
Damian Carrington  | The Guardian
Researchers call the results “frightening” because it’s likely “gross underestimate” and the problem is probably much worse
Maddie Burakoff  | Smithsonian Mag.
Each year of high emissions adds to the stock of carbon in the air, bringing us closer to catastrophe
Fiona Harvey  | The Guardian
Fire and flood: What it means to be "great" on a planet going down
David Bromwich | Common Dreams
They call it X Day – a major earthquake striking the heart of the world’s most populous city in the most calamitous event since the second world war. Can hi-tech solutions save Tokyo?
Daniel Hurst  | The Guardian
High spring rainfall and river discharge into Gulf are major contributors to size
Erik Stokstad  | Science Magazine News
Greenpeace estimates 50m hectares cleared by 2020, warning companies must evolve to prevent ‘climate breakdown’
Karen McVeigh  | The Guardian
Conservatives should change how they think about global warming. I did [Another crisis issue conservatives won't acknowledge...]
The uncertainty of climate change is an argument for – not against – decarbonizing the economy as quickly as possible
Jerry Taylor  | The Guardian
Energy firm says project will be big step towards continuous renewable power for UK
Jillian Ambrose  | The Guardian
Greenpeace activists board BP oil rig as it is towed out to sea [Fossil fuel company conduct should be illegal...]
Campaigners call on firm to abandon plans for new oil wells in face of climate emergency
Severin Carrell  | The Guardian
Milwaukee's novel approach to combating racial inequity should inspire other cities
Jessicah Pierre | Common Dreams
Zachary Shahan   | CleanTechnica

....Halfway measures are politically attractive but economically unworkable. The $11,559 per capita that the United States spends on health care could provide high-quality care for all or it can continue to fund a vast health-managerial apparatus—it cannot do both.

Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH and David U. Himmelstein, MD (article references)  | JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
Having a purposeful life protects against cognitive decline in older adults, and the associations varied by age and race/ethnicity, but not by sex. Potential ways to increase purpose in life are discussed in a clinical context.
GiyeonKimPh.D., HyunShin Ph.D., Monica A.Scicolone M.A. and PatriciaParmelee Ph.D  | Science Direct

Chinese state television is gaining influence in Africa. But while the media outlets involved officially claim their journalism is independent, those who work for the companies tell a different story.
Bartholomäus Grill  | Spiegel Online
Bad journalists are howled at
BOB SOMERBY in The DailyHowler | EVERY DAY

The Trump/DeVos vision of American education? Unshackle the rich and let them turn a profit at the expense of working-class students

....When the rules go through, they will deliver on DeVos’ dream of deregulating higher education, increasingly leaving the system to private operators with little oversight. A billionaire who has championed publicly-funded, privately-run charter schools and vouchers that would starve public schools of funds so students can attend private or religious schools, DeVos is a natural fit for a president who disdains the public sector (unless it’s underwriting his family’s real estate empire). ...

Ross Barkan  | The Guardian
Underpaid Adjunct Professors Sleep in Cars and Rely on Public Aid [The disease of rapacious-capitalism infects the education system]
Oliver Milman  | The Guardian

Arts & Education Events:
From Slab City to the Gran Plaza, residents ”eke by” in the shadows of California agribusiness.
Sasha Abramsky  | Capital & Main
Sick of war and war profiteering, this Congressman shows what happens when lawmakers actually do their jobs.
BARBARA BOLAND  | The American Conservative [Not to be confused with non-conservative U.S. Republicans]
White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]
William Happer contacted Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that fossil fuels cause global heating
Oliver Milman and agency  | The Guardian
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
TA-NEHISI COATES  | The Atlantic
In a speech yesterday, the 2020 contender’s message was crystal clear: ‘Political freedom in the absence of economic freedom is not real freedom’
Bhaskar Sunkara  | The Guardian
Abby Zimet, Further columnist | Common Dreams
"Our grassroots progressive movement has an opportunity to build a more accountable Democratic Party by unseating one of the worst amid our ranks and ushering in a new generation of leaders."
Eoin Higgins, staff writer | Common Dreams
What we need to do to avoid climate disaster — and how we should do it.
Vox Staff, especially Alvin Chang and Dion Lee  | Vox
Elizabeth Warren has come out strong for a slew of progressive policy proposals. So why hasn’t she come out strong for Medicare for All?
Sam Morris, Enjoli Liston and Hubert Adjei-Kontoh  | The Guardian
Why are we still pretending 'trickle-down' economics work? [We aren't ‘laffing’ now! In Trump-world all the worst people are celebrated. Ref.: 3:07 Idiocracy Courtroom Scene]
Art Laffer, ‘godfather’ of supply-side economic theory, is going to be awarded a presidential medal. He doesn’t deserve it
Morris Pearl  | The Guardian
Headquarters street renamed for pioneering African American mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson
David Smith  | The Guardian

Offences double since 2014 against gay and lesbian people and treble against trans people, Guardian analysis reveals
Sarah Marsh, Aamna Mohdin and Niamh McIntyre | The Guardian

It may remain a little-known fact, but Africa has never lacked civilizations, nor has it ever been as cut off from world events as it has been routinely portrayed. Some remarkable new books make this case in scholarly but accessible terms, and they admirably complicate our understanding of Africa’s past and present.

Howard W. French  | NY Review of Books
Carrie Lam says legislation that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China ‘caused a lot of division’
Emma Graham-Harrison and Verna Yu | The Guardian
The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong [But this attacks Xi's authoritarianism, which Trump is most envious of for himself...]
But for policies to be effective we must keep in mind how US actions affect the debate within China, where there is vigorous struggle over the country’s future
Michael H Fuchs | The Guardian
Lewisham campaigners block three roads into city centre to highlight ‘air pollution crisis’
Damien Gayle and agencies  | The Guardian
Australia could be a post-carbon superpower – but the energy minister must seize the day
Simon Holmes à Court  | The Guardian
Philip Hammond said it would cost £1tn to meet the green target by 2050. If he won’t support it, how can we rely on this government?
Miatta Fahnbulleh  | The Guardian
Sailors evacuated from two tankers in distress near the strategic Strait of Hormuz
Patrick Wintour  | The Guardian
What does it mean to be genetically Jewish? [Doing a mental dance with archanery: could a significant number of Russians and Palestinians be intentionally included or excluded as genetically Jewish? And why would Israel do this?]
DNA tests have been used in Israel to verify a person’s Jewishness. This brings a bigger question: what does it mean to be genetically Jewish? And can you prove religious identity scientifically?
Oscar Schwartz  | The Guardian

"The top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing."

Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion.

"We have the worst inequality in this country since the 1920s."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People's Policy Project, broke down the Federal Reserve's newly released "Distributive Financial Accounts" data series and found that, overall, "the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing, meaning they have more debts than they have assets." ...

Jake Johnson, staff writer | Common Dreams
"A majority of Americans, even the 1% of us, know that our inequality is out of control and we need to make some big changes if we want to fix things."
Jon Queally, staff writer | Common Dreams

Justice Denied, Delayed, or Done Right? Serious Concerns as Prosecutors Throw Out Charges in Flint Water Crisis Cases [A very flawed prosecution using suspiciously limited evidence has been thrown out, a stronger case will be brought using newly found, voluminous evidence.]
Citing the "flawed foundation" of the initial probe, state prosecutors announced they are launching a new "uncompromising" investigation
Jessica Corbett, staff writer | Common Dreams

Virtual Nations could replace nation-states, allowing everyone to be agents for a better world
Marc Cherbonnier | The Baltimore Chronicle | Ref.

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