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Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]
01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less Great Again]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]
01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]
01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]
01.18 Impeach Donald Trump
01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]
01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]
01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
Thinking About Normalcy
Last week was fairly typical at our state capital in Springfield. We still do NOT have a budget, the Democrats and Republicans are hardly speaking to each other, bills are NOT being paid, and fingers are being pointed everywhere but to themselves. This is normalcy for Illinois politics.
I’ve been thinking about normalcy. Actually I’ve been thinking about the highs and the lows, my recovery, localness, the State of Illinois status, and the national scene. Ah... to return to normal. How often do we TH*NK about how good it would be to return the way things were? There is so much comforting about the “good old days!” Or... is there?
You see when we find ourselves looking down a long road of coming developments, we really do not like surprises. In times of change and danger, it is the uncertainty of things that gets to us. The real substance behind our warm fuzzies towards “the good old days” is that we know the outcomes, and we pretty much survived them. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate whether continuing down a so-called familiar path is the way we need to go. Normalcy is really about the expected, the “been there and done that,” and sameness. Just because this was the way it occurred, or played out, last time around does not mean it will be the same this time around. Norms, or what is expected, can be high (good) or low (not so good). We experience these norms on so many levels every day.
I am TH*NK*NG a lot about my recovery. I’ve come a long way since I was wheeled out of the nursing home last September. I’ve only used my four wheeled walker three times in the past two weeks. I am making progress, but things are still moving so slowly. I want to return to normal, whatever that was? I know that with determination, hard work, proper monitoring, and support I will get there. What I don’t have a clue about is how long the recovery to my “full normal” will take.
Most of our “normals” relate to the day to day or weekly/monthly activities which surround us in our “localities,” our “close to homes,” and our “communities.” This gives me comfort because Creston is such a special and active community. For example, last Friday was the April international fund raising dinner for the Opera House renovation. It was Cuban style roast pork with pineapple sauce catered by Headon’s and it was incredible. (WHOA!) Saturday 16 of us got together to celebrate the 70th birthday of our retired Pastor David Rasmussen. Again, it was an incredibly fun evening. Sunday saw the Creston Vintage Baseball Team (played in costume with 1858 rules) play Elk Grove Village and Oregon. (We won one and lost one). And, there was an organ recital at my home church of St. Johns to dedicate our new (to us anyway) organ. The four organists really outdid themselves. Such events are typical (or normal) for our community and everyone had a great time. These events fall into the “high” normals.
Last week was fairly typical at our state capital in Springfield. We still do NOT have a budget, the Democrats and Republicans are hardly speaking to each other, bills are NOT being paid, and fingers are being pointed everywhere but to themselves. This is normalcy for Illinois politics and has been for some time. An organized protest by 17,000 laid off teachers in the state was new to the mix. I fear that such demonstrations will become the norms in states and cities across the nation as hard choices are made and program budgets continue to be cut. Last Monday I received a plea for money from my Alma Mater, the U of I at Champaign-Urbana. It seems that the state now owes them just over $500 MILLION (yes, a half a BILLION!!!) in promised money for the “current” school year. Similarly huge amounts are unpaid all other state universities, community colleges, high schools, AND grade schools. This is a major crisis and will be the norm for who knows how long? Honest Abe Lincoln would be shocked by all this.
On the national level we saw a rising protest to Arizona’s coming crack down on their illegal alien problem. Let’s face it, our borders are a joke and the federal government is doing squat diddlely to fix it. Washington is irate that Arizona chose to seek a remedy when the national government chose to continue to ignore the problem. How dare they... and besides THIS is an election year??? While such may be a new “casus belli” (a conflict between states and the Feds), arguments over who can legally take what action have been the norms since our union was created back in 1789.
We also saw an assault on our gulf coast by a growing oil slick, a failed “terrorist” bombing attack at Times Square in New York City, the merger of two financially troubled major airlines (like making it bigger will fix anything), and a public hearing about the culpability of a HUGE Wall Street investment bank in our current mortgage/ real estate/foreclosure mess. I seriously question if any of what is happening on any of these fronts will be positive, or a solution. Such actions are the expected, because they reflect brouhahas which have already been supposedly dealt with and fixed. (Yeah, right???) THESE are our “low” norms.
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 May 3, 2010.