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Health Care & Environment
11.20 Dead fish to power cruise ships [using dead fish to ultimately kill more fish, animals and plants but at a slower rate]
11.20 Indonesia: dead whale had 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach [We have to stop killing everything!!!]
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...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.20 New York City subway and bus services have entered 'death spiral', experts say [death spirals are the end-thing nowadays]
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]
11.20 'He may not rewrite immigration laws': Trump's asylum ban blocked by federal judge [Has anyone thought about putting razor-wire around the White House?]
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!]
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 Signs
We need to feel an “optimism” about what will transpire in the coming months through New Years. Will what we experience (or perceive) be a real sense of progress to that desired end?
I’ve been thinking about signs. Actually I’ve been thinking about omens/precursors, our nation’s situation, the global situation, and the coming holiday season. (A Merry Pre-Christmas to one and all). We find ourselves in a strange state of affaires. We as a country need a recovery. We need it coming at us soon. There is more than just a temptation to look at the most miniscule changes to anything as signs of how things are getting better off. These fluff our hope and keep our spirits up for a recovery.
You see we need to feel an “optimism” about what will transpire in the coming months through New Years. Will what we experience (or perceive) be a real sense of progress to that desired end? This is true for me, the nation as a whole and even to our wider planet as well. Central to “any recovery” is the feeling that the cutbacks (or shortfalls) will recede – and what we had accomplished at our prime... would return. We need to be stronger, do more, consume more, sell more, and have more real purchasing power. More is definitely better... More tells us we are in recovery... More is the solution...
Last Friday’s unemployment numbers were not a good sign. They are probably not even close to being a correct evaluation. The net October decline of 190,000 jobs lost were more than the loss of 171,000 jobs which had been expected; but were less than the 219,000 jobs lost in September. These numbers will be revised with little fanfare over the coming weeks. Still the October additions brought unemployment to just over 10.2 % – THE HIGHEST SINCE 1982! We should see a continued spiking of the unemployment figures. When a person looses his/her unemployment benefits, they fall out of the count and our un-employment mess looks “better.” By extending the eligibility for benefits across the nation, we shall see a rise in the reported unemployed. Such a bigger and downward “sign” in the employment levels will NOT be a sign of recovery. There is no such thing as a jobless recovery! Trust me...
Our Gross Domestic Product has morphed from categorizing what we make, to categorizing what we consume. The consumption no longer has to be goods made in the USA. When the US consumer stops (or at least cuts back on) purchasing – the world hurts big time. While the US has cut back somewhat on its debt financed spending, in August we still bought $20.231 BILLION more from China, $ 4.337 BILLION more from Japan, $3.949 BILLION more from Mexico, $2.148 BILLION more from Germany, and $1.886 BILLION more from Venezuela than we sold to them respectively. Note that Venezuela was our fifth largest trade deficit and our third largest energy supplier.
Energy makes up our largest group of imports. This picks up both crude oil imported and petroleum distillates. Our August exports of capital goods ($30.9 billion) were the lowest since October 2005 ($30.7 billion). HUMM... Our August imports of automotive vehicles and parts ($14.6 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($15.2 billion). DOUBLE HUMM... Selling less abroad, while buying more from abroad; is NOT a sign of recovery. Just like the continued growth of unemployment by roughly a quarter million in net lost jobs every month, these are not good things.
Health care makes up about one/seventh of our total economy. This is a huge segment of what makes the US what it is. There is a big push now to nationalize the health care services sector. While our elected officials would categorically deny any connection between an Uncle $ugar led take over of this industry to fix our ailing economy, THAT appears to be exactly what Uncle is doing. Saturday night saw passage of the 1990 page omnibus (everything including the kitchen sink) by the US House of Representative. The 220 to 215 vote was hardly a mandate. The Democrats mustered 219 Dems and one Republican to the AYE side: the Repubes garnered 176 Repubes and 39 Democrats to the NAY side. The outcome was hardly a bipartisan victory. Besides... the forthcoming battle for passage of “The Affordable Health Care for America Act” in the US Senate is a far cry from being a given at this point.
The week ahead should yield an Obama Administration decision on increasing the deployment of US troops in Afghanistan. More young men and women will be sent; but will the increase be 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, or more. Last week’s wanton shooting at Fort Hood by an Army Doctor at the largest military base in the Continental US was clearly a pre-response to the President’s decision. The next day’s killings at an Orlando office tower (by a laid off engineer) reflects the public’s edginess as well. Will the coming holiday selling season be a sign of a coming turnaround, or will it foretell...???
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2009 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 November 9, 2009.