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Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]


Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Print view: Thinking About Volunteerism

Thinking About Volunteerism

Before volunteering, verify that the organization is highly respected, productive and efficient.

by Fred Cederholm
Some volunteer organizations seem to have a suspicious number of paid workers, few unpaid volunteers, and scant record of accomplishment.

I’ve been thinking about volunteerism. Actually I’ve been thinking about community service, Serve Illinois (Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service), Illinois finances, local groups, and true volunteerism. Giving one’s time, expertise, and money to philanthropic projects can be a very positive thing. We as a nation are a most generous people. I TH*NK about so much of what makes our communities special and that most of the projects and accomplishments have come from local people working together for the benefit of their community. Stop and TH*NK for a moment about what you like about our communities and how did such actions/ projects come about? You will be very surprised. Real volunteerism is a cross generational thing. Anyone can become involved. If they are not presently involved, they should be.

You see, last Thursday I represented the Creston Booster Club at an all day conference/ meeting on volunteerism and community service at Sauk Valley College in Dixon. I really learned and thought about a lot of things because of this. Not all (in fact very few) were topics/ subjects I had expected. So many questions and red flags were raised and came out in the course of listening to the presenters, and particularly in my conversations with attendee/ participants from the Northwest corner of our state.

Central to the conference was Serve Illinois: the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. I will freely admit that I don’t’ know everything (in fact, I am rapidly learning how little I really do know), but I had NEVER heard of them. Have you? Their mission statement says: “The mission of the Serve Illinois Commission is to improve Illinois communities by supporting and enhancing traditional volunteerism and community service and the administration of the AmeriCorp program.” Well... THAT sounded good, and I had at least heard of the federal AmeriCorps program during a couple of Presidential State of the Union speeches. However, I can’t name one project that AmeriCorps has done for us locally. Maybe I just missed it.

I have since talked to a number of local “movers and shakers” heavily involved in community service about Serve Illinois. Only one had thought they had heard of them. I didn’t take this as a good sign. In subsequent web searches I learned that the commission came into being somewhere in the year 2000. They have a Chairman, an Executive Director, and now 35 Commissioners (up recently from 25) who are almost all from the metropolitan Chicago area. Their website offers publications available that were prepared by OTHER organizations across the state. (I apologize, but I will have to do some serious research and talk to a number of people about this Serve Illinois group and get back to you in another column!) Oh, BTW... I did receive nice chrome plated lapel pin for attending from Serve Illinois.

In talking to numerous attendees I learned that they were the paid staff for various local “service” organizations. In fact I raised the question during one of the question and answer periods and learned that I was the only cookie there who was part of (and representing) a COMPLETELY volunteer organization, the Creston Booster Club. We don’t have the rigid hierarchy of levels of “management” that every other of the 100 or so participants organizations did. In fact, I said to the group as a whole that if we were an Indian tribe, all were chiefs --- except maybe the organization’s officers, who were the Indians. This got a laugh from the participants, but I was dead serious. Everybody in our organization works hard on every aspect for all of our projects. We just roll up our shirt sleeves and pitch in.

During the breaks, I kept pursuing conversations with the other participants. Every one of them I talked to worked for an organization which seemed to have a contractual agreement with the State of Illinois to provide services to their community. Their jobs were to recruit local volunteers and contributors and administer the services to “whomever” for “whatever.” Virtually all were concerned about whether their agency would survive thru the end of the year. Times are really rough. It would appear that few, if any, had received ANY of their promised funding from the State of Illinois since the first of 2010! The Illinois financial crisis literally affects everyone, both for schools and for services!

I thought about the Booster Club, the Rotary Club, the Lions’ Club, the Masons, and the Kiwanis Club that are all so integral to what is good about our local communities. They raise their own funding for their projects via local events. We are blessed with a generous community. These are the ones truly responsible for what sets our communities above the rest and make living around here so special. I wondered if any local organizations have benefited from Serve Illinois in the past decade, much less received any money through them. The people I talked to were shocked at what my organization had accomplished over the years, and that we raise virtually every cent ourselves to do these things as we go along. It is said that “charity begins at home.” I now have a much better understanding of what that phrase means... This is the mark of true volunteerism.

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

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This story was published on August 9, 2010.


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