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Health Care & Environment
12.17 Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious wood to China [clear-cutting forests harshly impacts all life above and below ground-level for decades; it decreases oxygen production and seguestration of CO2 and increases area, frequency and duration of drought]
12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]
News Media Matters
12.17 A Report to Our Readers
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
12.17 'Making America Stupid Again': Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can't Say at Trump's CDC [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
12.16 Poverty in US set to increase due to Donald Trump's policies, says UN official [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 Republicans Despise the Working Class [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.17 Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil [something else Republicans are packing the courts for...]
12.15 Who Pays for Judicial Races? The Politics of Judicial Elections 2015-16 [desperately packing the courts at all levels to protect white power & unregulated capitalism]
12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]
12.17 Trump’s Misuse of Intelligence on Iran [immoral behavior that could lead to War]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
12.17 How a Philadelphia nun became the unlikely face of conscientious capitalism [Why don't we teach morality in Law & Business schools?]
12.16 The Republican Tax Bill Provides Huge Benefits to People Who Don’t Work. But Only if They’re Rich. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 The United States Is Now as Unequal as Russia. And That’s Before the Tax Bill. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers [what are the chances oligarchy-controlled countries (esp. America and Russia) ever agree to fight tax evasion and money landering? International agencies must all mandate common regulations as a condition for UN membership, trade agreements, world bank loans, etc.]
12.15 FCC Chair Ajit Pai 'Shows Just How Dumb He Thinks Americans Are' With Video Mocking Net Neutrality [he won't discuss how giving more monopoly power to cable ISPs will increase consumer costs and stifle innovation]
12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]
International & Futurism
12.17 Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life [a good model that converts victims of abuse and cruelty into positive activists with good jobs...]
12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]
The Words of the 'Profits' Are Written in the 'Congress Halls'
No way do the numbers being released to the public pass the “straight face” test.I’ve been thinking about stewardship. Actually I’ve been thinking about Matthew 25: 14-30, the 10 talents, elections, truth, February, the costs of war, and the sounds of silence. Last Thursday our Senate voted to once again raise the ceiling on our National Debt to almost $9 TRILLION. Yes, $ 9 TRILLION! The vote was 52 to 48 in favor of the increase—strictly along party lines. The House of Representatives had already approved the increase when it passed a 2006 budget blueprint bill. Is this good stewardship? Who deserves to continue in their offices?
You see, the Matthew 25 teachings deal with stewardship and the parable of the 10 talents. A master entrusted three of his servants with his money—one received 5 talents, another received 2 talents, and the third 1 talent. In his absence, the first two worked diligently and doubled the master’s money, while the third merely returned the one talent intact. Upon his return, the master rewarded the first two for their diligent stewardship, but cast the third out into the darkness. Now... think of voters as “the master” and our elected officials as “the servants” (of all the people). How would/should we, the master(s), react in knowing that what we had entrusted to our servants was all gone, and that we now “owed” even more?
Truth is hidden from US/us out in the open because the truth is “protected” by a palace guard of lies. We are told that the economy is going great guns and that tax cuts will generate more revenue. But be aware of this: Uncle $ugar is on a cash basis of accounting; recognizing revenues when received and expenses when paid. Normally in the first months of the calendar year there are “surpluses” because payments are coming in anticipation of the income tax filings due on the prior year’s income. February 2006 numbers just released showed a $119 BILLION deficit! No way do the numbers being released to the public pass the “straight face” test. Does THAT show us that the economy is booming and that tax revenues are increasing?
Last week, we learned that the projected costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will increase from $6.8 BILLION a month to $ 9.8 BILLION a month—a jump of 44%. Will this really prove to be enough? Given the present saber rattling toward Iran, can we truly afford yet another invasion/war? Trust me when I say that peace and diplomacy are a heck of a lot cheaper in terms of both dollars and lives. Immediately after raising the debt ceiling by $781 BILLION—the fourth MEGA increase during the Bush Presidency (with almost two-and-a-half more years to go); Congress authorized another $92 BILLION more for the wars and Katrina/Rita relief. What kind of stewardship is that?
The very day the debt ceiling was increased, the outstanding debt jumped by $1 BILLION to $8,271 BILLION from the $8,270 BILLION, where it had effectively “languished” since March 2. The game being played with the “cash basis accounting” and “honoring the sanctity” of the debt ceiling precluded Uncle $ugar from paying the bills. At the old ceiling of $8.2 TRILLION, $3,460 BILLION was already “misappropriated” from accumulated Social Security surpluses and other trust/retirement funds under Uncle’s "stewardship," and spent elsewhere. To honor those obligations, we will be told that we must “re-fund” that which was already paid for by us.
In all the states, there are good candidates/stewards out there who understand the madness of the profligate spending and the wanton misuse of debt. Find them, support them, and vote for them.
We the people can no longer remain silent in our disgust over their “stewardship.” “The words of the ‘profits’ are written in the ‘Congress halls’... and the visions that were planted in my brain, still remain... echoing the sounds of silence.” In all the states, there are good candidates/stewards out there who understand the madness of the profligate spending and the wanton misuse of debt. Find them, support them, and vote for them. And... HOLD them to their campaign rhetoric. Do not accept excuses from incumbents for failing to deliver on their prior promises; cast them out into the darkness. Make it clear to ALL candidates that they will be held accountable and that the coming “Election Day” in November will become the “Judgment Day."
I'm Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2006 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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This story was published on March 22, 2006.