Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Thinking About Bigness
Since WWII; the DC power-players-that-be have no problems upping the ante from the MILLIONS of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, to the BILLIONS of the 80’s and 90’s, to the TRILLIONS of the 21st Century. They do so “not because it was hard, but because it was easy.”I’ve been thinking about bigness. Actually I’ve been thinking about the unfolding recession/depression, the Kennedy “Moon speech,” the prior eight economic setbacks, bailouts, and coming 35% market declines. Last week’s announcements and the projected revelations for the coming week continue an American tradition of the biggest catching the headlines and the public’s attention. More (or rather most) is not a good thing when it describes losses, terminations, cutbacks, or deficits!
You see the American experience has a fixation with the superlative form. Big maybe good, bigger is better, but biggest is the best! This preoccupation with super-sized jumbo-ness has clearly brought US/us to the current catastrophic brink of monetary, financial, and economic Armageddon that is the focus and bane of our very future and existence. As we face the coming pain and sacrifices that we all must endure for MULTIPLE years, we need to reflect on how it was our past excesses which have brought us into this quagmire. We will need all the TRILLIONS and all the inspirational rhetoric/oratory that the President and the talking heads of the Obama Administration can muster.
On May 25th, 1961; President John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered his famous “Moon Speech.” America’s ego (and pre-eminence) had been set aback in the space race. Kennedy challenged the nation and informed the world that we would send humans to the moon (and safely return) by the end of the decade “not because it was easy, but because it was hard.” We focused our dollars, our know-how, and our energy/efforts to achieving that end. We succeeded, and America’s pre-eminence was restored. Success was all the sweeter and positives were more than accentuated! If only we had followed the Kennedy “moon model” in addressing/fixing the recessions since WW II?
In dealing with each and every one of these downturns, the party-line official-policy (from both political parties, the Treasury, and the FED) was to cut interest rates, fluff the deficits/debts, and stimulate grow in consumption/spending. This promoted the debt based expansion of MORE of just about anything that would goose up the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) back into a bigger number. It was the BIGNESS that was important, NOT the present or future implications. This was the fix – “not because it was hard, but because it was easy.” It fixed nothing, just laid the foundations for the next bigger bubble. More was not better, it was just more – and it came with a higher price down the road. Subsequent GDP numbers seemed bigger, but so called “growth” came at the costs of much larger outstanding debts for our governments, our corporations, and our households to carry.
Each time there were these economic setbacks, there were entities which couldn’t continue to make the grade. Such were “brokered” into mergers with what had been surviving competitors. The forces of market competition were thus diluted/weakened for the next inevitable retrenchments. The plusses of economies of scale and the benefits of bigness were hawked as solutions - in reality they only made things worse. Such bailouts/mergers were promoted “not because they were hard, but because they were easy.” TOO BIG TO FAIL became the mantra justifying the continuation of this nearsighted fixing of the crises in the 1980s, and 1990’s. “Bigger” now became “biggest,” and when these financial (and corporate) behemoths found themselves armadillo-bottoms-up alongside-the-road, they were not only TOO BIG TO FAIL, they were TOO BIG FOR ANYBODY BESIDES UNCLE $UGAR TO BAILOUT - OR TO TAKE OVER! Was this a quirky accident - or the plan?
This puts us clearly on untested ground. Even though the old, universal, one-method-fits-all fix it cure/response has never worked long term since WWII; the DC power-players-that-be have no problems upping the ante from the MILLIONS of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, to the BILLIONS of the 80’s and 90’s, to the TRILLIONS of the 21st Century. They do so “not because it was hard, but because it was easy.” Look for the equity market’s reactions to be negative: we will see the DOW > 4,500, the NASDAQ > 900, the RUSSELL 2000 > 250, and the S&P 500 > 475 in the next 12 months - down 35% more!
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on March 2, 2009.