Local Stories, 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 The Exits
Who will come on stage or step up to the plate to really turn these messes around? Will we see an exit to stage right? Will we see an exit to stage left? Or...will it just be a fade to black?
I’ve been thinking about exits. Actually I’ve been thinking about theatre, our current situations, governments, and corporations. Why does an entity ever what to get out? How does it leave? How does one exit and not be missed? What are implications of the departures – both the good and the bad?
You see there are moments when the time has come to go. We often find ourselves in places and situations where we are uncomfortable, we are no longer having “fun,” we feel we do not belong; or our continued presence is no longer welcome, desired, or even helping the situation. We look around for doorways, exits, hallways, or even windows which can provide a means of escape. We TH*NK to ourselves like Nancy Sinatra: “Ya ready boots, start walking.” But... if only things were that simple...
Now the analogy is like some bad play where neither the audience nor the players are comfortable with the theatrical production in progress. Literally EVERYBODY wants out... the question really becomes a matter when and how? To extricate ourselves without being noticed, or at least causing the smallest amount of commotion rests the rub. In classical Greek theatre, a comedy is when the main player accomplishes his mission/ objectives; a tragedy is when the main player fails to get the deeds done. It is always better to leave the audience laughing. Or is it? “Tragedies” can teach much needed lessons that will alter future performance, involvements and actions. Good CAN come from the bad.
We find ourselves in so many messes right now on so many fronts. “We the people...” are the patrons and the audience. The players no longer have a clue where what is clearly an “improvisation” is taking them and US/ us. They just know that it is not good. No matter what they do will produce positive reviews. Their “celebrity status” careers in the public eye could/ would/ should be destroyed. A few have already opted to not run for re-election and TH*NK: “Oh well... it was a nice run while it lasted!
Our governments – Federal, state, and local – are facing huge expenses for providing services and honoring obligations which began long in the past. Revenue is down and/or at least declining. Mammoth deficits are being generated. Debt is skyrocketing. None of this is a pretty picture. A major consideration for them is that this is an election year. The first order of politics is always to get elected, or re-elected. How can they admit they have failed, cut bate, and still be returned to office? These are hard times calling for extreme measures. How will they get out of what has become a disastrous production ---unscathed?
Illinois is in its worst situation in anyone’s memory. This “Land of Lincoln” presently has no budget, the state owes $85 BILLION in unfunded pension promises, it has borrowed $8 BILLION from Uncle $ugar to meet unemployment compensation draws, hospitals and nursing home have not been paid for services to Medicaid patients, and the state owes its universities big bucks (the Champaign Urbana campus alone is looking at a receivable of half a BILLION and tuition for Fall is being proposed at just over $10,000 per student). The grade schools and high schools are initiating major cuts, or should be, because the real estate taxes cannot be raised by 50% or 100% to fulfill the gaps left by the state. Springfield’s answer now is to consider a 6 month budget to get the state thru the election! Give me a break, where are the requisite kahunas to make the necessary spending cuts? Where is the leadership?
Uncle $ugar is in no better shape financially, physically, or fiscally. Promises of government programs are being supplemented with still more costly government programs. What have we seen to make us optimistic? Cries and whining from the general public call for more “temporary” assistance. The masses cry out: “Help me, help me, I want a government program!” (Or, so we are told.) What ever happened to the bootstrap mentality of taking responsibility for one’s self and one’s own problems? Our governments ARE the problem! Keynesian policies to fix the last go around brought about our current messes. Cheap money, running printing presses, and encouraging debt to up consumption got us to this scene. Wars are big sumps for cash and stimulus... so off to war we go whether we have any strategic interest, or not! Just what have we truly accomplished in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, or Palestine? Has any world power succeeded there in those locations in 200 or more years? The Brits? The Russians? US/us?
We presently have at least a ten year inventory of foreclosed, unoccupied, and unsold homes. Unfortunately commercial real estate will be the next shoe to drop. Unemployment keeps on growing in both real and hypothetical terms. The oil in the Gulf of Mexico keeps on gushing and is now making landfall. Who will come on stage or step up to the plate to really turn these messes around? Will we see an exit to stage right? Will we see an exit to stage left? Or...will it just be a fade to black? Hummm...?
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 24, 2010.