Local Stories, Events
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Health Care & Environment
06.19 Engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% [Trump fires scientist. It would be far better to enable their good work.]
06.19 We’ll Never Solve Immigration If We Don’t Solve Climate Change [Why is our President so willfully stupid?]
06.18 The Worst Patients in the World [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Navy Contaminates Local Groundwater and Sewer System in Maryland [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.17 Hopes for climate progress falter with coal still king across Asia [Governments must subsidize very rapid installation of renewable energy to displace all fossil energy—aka DEATH ENERGY—power plants that must be made illegal ASAP]
06.17 Oil companies double down on plastics as public outcry grows [Obscene!]
06.15 So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]
06.15 We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]
06.15 This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
06.19 America has never gone this long without hiking the federal minimum wage [The poor would spend every penny and help the economy and decrease health costs. Only dummies don't understand the costly effects of penury.]
06.19 When migrants arrived in droves, this poor New Mexico city opened its arms [A good example for us all: This is the way we must respond to human suffering]
06.18 It's A Horrible Idea To Privatize The Tennessee Valley Authority And Other Public Energy Assets [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell [His immorality is in complete control]
06.17 Climate change leadership would create a new 'American century' [We must incentivize the strategic good, again, before it's too late.]
06.17 Drug Cop Worth $400 Million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate [A better role-model than Trump or Kushner!]
06.15 White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]
06.18 As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants [Is THIS the cruelest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 ‘The Saudis couldn’t do it without us’: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war [If you act psychopathic you are psychopathic; 3:40 Video: Where have all the flowers (and morals and young men) gone, long time passing, sung by Marlene Dietreich]
06.17 'Blatant Theft': Netanyahu Unveils Illegal Settlement Named 'Trump Heights' in Occupied Syrian Territory [Great deal: the U.S. gives Israel $Billions every year, and they name an illegal settlement—to be built on Palestinian land—after Trump]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
06.15 'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion [More equality or bring back the guillotines!]
International & Futurism
06.19 Trump Enabled an ‘Act of Organized Crime’ in Guatemala [Trump and other mafia-dons cause refugees and migrants as much as global warming]
06.19 Madrid’s new rightwing council suspends low-emissions zone [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
06.19 Donald Trump’s reckless Iran policy casts doubt on the US as global leader [America's reputation has plummeted more speedily since Trump's dubious election, with professionals willfully replaced with less competent appointees or left unfilled in many federal government agencies]
06.18 'If This Is True, They Are Even Bigger Lunatics Than We Realized': UN Officials Reportedly Believe Trump Planning 'Massive' Bombing Campaign in Iran [Never underestimate the stupidity of the Trump Administration]
06.18 Iran will not wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani [Economic sanctions are cruel punishment to innocent civilians causing hate for generations. We will reap what Trump sows.]
06.17 Saudi Arabia May Execute Teenager for His Protests — Including When He Was 10 [America's “best ally” is psychopathically insane]
06.17 Why Venezuela Is the Vietnam of Our Time [Powerful, clear writing!]
Thinking About Explanations
Last week saw the largest single day drop of equity valuations in a matter of a little over an hour. Were the market makers (aka “the Plunge Protection Team”) asleep at the switch? The exchanges went into free fall. Things happened too fast, but they still happened.
I’ve been thinking about explanations. Actually I’ve been thinking about tall tales, pensions, Greece, the EURO, the US dollar, and the markets. Last week Lucy had a lot of “splaining” to do. We were watching the Greeks rioting, the gulf oil slicks floating towards our coast, and the stock markets tanking. Our world was literally coming apart at the seams. Not to worry, Der Spinmeisters went into overdrive to “splain” things away by demonstrating their so called knowledge of the situations, tell what they were going to do to fix things, and more importantly, to show that “they” were still in control. Tall tales were the order of the day. Hopefully the general public would NOT do any real TH*NK*NG and the fast talking elixir salesmen would once again prevail thus buying some more time. Suspending ones’ misbelief to enjoy a novel, science fiction, a TV show, or a movie is one thing; to buy into governmental fabrications, financial sector misinformation, and the media coverage (as in cover up, or obfuscate, the truth) is quite another.
You see common sense and rational TH*NK*NG about what the governments, the financial sector, and media are spewing out to the masses would show the explanations for the “hooey” they actually are. Most of the public around the globe is concerned about the here and now. Their concerns are for food and shelter, raising their families, keeping working, paying their bills, and looking forward to an uneventful (and enjoyable) retirement. To insure the latter (which is hopefully off sometime into the future), the American public looks to Social Security, pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, and savings to cover them on this front. Recent revelations depict a very sick system. This makes us all very edgy.
The big companies and the governmental units (Federal, state and local --- which combined are the hands down largest employers) have under funded their pension obligations. We all know this. Will they be able to follow through on their promises? Add to that point the fact that private holdings of stocks, bonds, CDs, and savings accounts make up another huge chunk of the pension mix; bring to light why it is so unfathomable for our banking and financial system of equity markets to tank. Last week saw the largest single day drop of equity valuations in a matter of a little over an hour. Were the market makers (aka “the Plunge Protection Team”) asleep at the switch? The exchanges went into free fall. Things happened too fast, but they still happened. Explanations were critical, but how could the powers that be say the markets were overvalued, the companies were not as strong/ profitable, and that the hyped fantasy that the depression/ recession was over was false? Well, they couldn’t. You cover and perpetuate one set of lies with another and bigger set of falsehoods --- and the game goes on!
The problems in Greece (and Portugal and Spain and Italy and Ireland and the UK) are now coming out into the open. Greece with its riots in the street is leading the way! Each and all of these UC members have been spending well more than they took in, or could even (or rather should) borrow. The day of reckoning is at hand, but those using EUROs as their currency can’t just print more money to cover their obligations. They must receive a bailout, or go into default. If any one or more of these goes under it WOULD bring down the EURO and the European Union. The US dollar and the Pound are still acceptable as reserve currencies so the printing money option is still working for them - for now. The EURO as a viable alternative to either of them has been dashed on the rocks and has been set back at least a decade in the broader scheme of things.
It would be to the US advantage in the short run if the EURO disintegrated and the EU actually broke up! The troubles in Greece and the precarious nature of the EURO would make US dollar and US dollar denominated investments a better bet on the planet as a whole. If anything... Greece and the troubles across the pond should have caused the market to erroneously rise last week --- not go down! After the initial “blame it on the Greeks and the need for a European bail out scenario” fell apart on closer analysis and TH*NK*NG, Der Spinmeisters here had to look elsewhere to point the finger. US entities hold less than 5% of the Greek debt, so our exposure there is highly limited. We already have far more of our own debt here to really even give the Greek mess a first, much less a second thought.
The next lame attempt at explanation for the precipitous drop in our equity markets was that ONE trader accidentally typed in a sell order for a BILLION shares instead of a MILLION. DUH!!! Are there no programmed checks, or supervisory approvals, required by the Wall Street super duper protection systems for such a large (make that HUGE) trade? Nice try...but NO, I’m not buying that one either!
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 May 10, 2010.