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Health Care & Environment
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 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...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
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]
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
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.]
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.]
International & Futurism
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!]
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.]
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Thinking About Recovery In The New Year
A turn-around isn’t going to happen until we see a resurgence of domestic jobs that pay a living wage and offer a full smorgasbord of benefits.
I’ve been thinking about Advent. Actually I’ve been thinking about beginnings, the US economy, Black Friday, Computer Monday, sales, jobs, Afghanistan, health care, hope and expectations. At my home church of St. Johns Lutheran in Creston, we just celebrated the first Sunday in Advent. The first of four holiday candles was lit, and the church year officially began.
As I listened to Pastor Larson’s sermon I couldn’t help but think about a much wider meaning to the holiday season this year. Advent means “coming” (as in second coming) and beginnings. Personally I look forward to 2010 as a year of beginning life with a newly constructed heart. The MRSA infection took me off my feet for a full two months. My body atrophied. I am reprogramming my body to do all the things I had taken for granted, and progress is measured month by month and week by week—NOT in terms of day by day. I’ll get there, but it is going to take awhile.
I wish I could tell you that the US and world economies would be fully recovered in 6 to 9 months. That just isn’t going to happen despite all the smiles and spin we are hearing from our political leaders in Washington D.C. and from Statehouses across America. Our systems are broken (or are breaking down) before our eyes, and the quick fixes of historical “solutions” to past recessions and depressions just aren’t going to cut it this time. In the past we have spent our way to recovery. People then had jobs, or got jobs, that paid a living wage; debt levels were considerable lower; and stimulating the economy was a matter of getting the people out to spend and to consume. This time it is different.
We are now “nose deep” in a “get out there and spend” campaign for Christmas 2009. Last Friday began the make-or-break holiday shopping frenzy. One fifth of a year's sales are made between that Friday and New Year's Day. The figures from Friday are only now coming in—meaning the business community did not get what it desired in terms of shoppers, or spending. This could be terminal for many local shops after the first of next year. Not to worry... the wunderkinds of advertising and marketing have conjured up a new day for redemption if Black Friday didn’t generate the necessary sales. This is “Computer Monday,” which this year falls on November 30th. On this latest addition to the holiday shopping season, gaggles of shoppers stay home and huddle around the family computer(s) to make the “all-salvation” purchases. I will be on-line most of the day, but to research—not to shop. Besides... I like to visit stores. I may use a credit card, but I pay off the balance in full every month.
A turn-around isn’t going to happen until we see a resurgence of domestic jobs that pay a living wage and offer a full smorgasbord of benefits. Every item I‘ve seen (or picked up) was made elsewhere. Such purchases may help China, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, or Korea; but they will do squat in helping the American worker. We have been losing a net 250,000 full time jobs a month since early in the summer of 2008. I predict that such losses will continue for at least 18 more months before we start to see the beginnings of any turnaround. Unless US households are earning decent money, Uncle $ugar cannot expect shoppers to execute a spending recovery. (The next jobs report is due out this coming Friday. The figures should prove quite interesting.)
Any good news we've seen on the jobs front has come from our expanded warfare or the healthcare industry. Many high school graduates have joined the military because they just can’t find a local job, or can’t afford to go to college. Tuesday night we will get the Obama decision on Afghanistan. Expect him to authorize an additional 30,000 to the land of poppies and heroin. This will bring our troops there to just over 100,000 young service men and women. Each will cost US/us a reported ONE MILLION DOLLARS per year. The costs of related support contracts in the private sector are astronomical and will make up a significant chunk of our GDP in 2009 and 2010. I mean, Uncle $ugar is paying an estimated $600 a gallon for fuel there. War may be good for select segments of our economy, but it is killing US/us with a burden of debt which defies all logic and will never be repaid!
Pastor Larson talked of Advent as a time of hope and expectations. I hope and expect to regain my faculties and use thereof in 2010. I wish and pray for the same for the US and world economies. Most especially, I wish us all Peace.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on November 30, 2009.