Why has America forgotten the three most important economic lessons we learned in the 30 years following World War II?
Why has America forgotten the three most important economic lessons we learned in the 30 years following World War II?
From the page: "Since I began covering the environmental and climate change movements, I窶ve run across a certain type of article, time and time again, that wonders at the persistence of the fight against Keystone XL 窶" even though it窶s only one pipeline out of many, even though oil can also be shipped by rail (and it is), and even though the southern half was approved and completed regardless of the movement窶s efforts.
It窶s true that one reason for its appeal is that the fight has had its successes, too: In the summer of 2010, the EPA forced the State Department to revise its Environmental Impact Review (EIR) to take into account safety issues, oil spill response, and greenhouse gas concerns. In January 2012, Obama rejected Republican pressure to approve the pipeline. And the most recent draft of the EIR may yet be invalidated by an investigation currently underway by the Inspector General. Earlier this week, as public comment opened on the new EIR, protests broke out in hundreds of cities, with promises of more to come."
From the page: "The urgent planetary need is clear. The world has to wean itself from fossil fuel dependence in the coming 20-40 years. We simply can't go on drilling, excavating, and burning every ton of coal, oil, and gas the fossil fuel industry finds. If we do so, the basic "carbon arithmetic" of CO2 buildup spells disaster.
In the current market jargon, the world needs to strand some of its fossil fuel reserves, meaning that some must be left under the ground rather than extracted and burned. We must substitute these stranded fossil fuel reserves with low-carbon alternatives, including nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. There are ample supplies of these low-carbon alternatives, but to build up the use of these alternatives will require considerable investments for several decades to come.
The most important single step is to keep most of the coal from being burned. The next is to avoid the temptation to develop every bit of "non-conventional" oil and gas that can be found. With new technologies, unconventional oil and gas like Canada's oil sands can now be developed at today's market prices, but at great peril for the planet. "
From the page: "Right now, most Americans have very few options when it comes to high-quality broadband service, so we can't just decide to vote with our feet if a company violates "net neutrality." Accordingly, our broadband providers have the technical means and the financial incentives to block or slow down controversial content or their competitors, or to give established players who can afford to pay for the privilege an Internet "fast lane." Additionally, because the companies have to monitor your online activity in order to manipulate the data, the lack of neutrality rules raises profound privacy issues. Let's hope the FCC moves quickly to safeguard the Internet and assure it remains open and free."
From the page: "Protecting our planet from Keystone XL would protect US standing on the global stage, and by reassuring all nations that the United States takes climate change seriously, it would protect international negotiations from devolving into a finger pointing, blame shifting debacle. Protecting us from Keystone XL would protect us from decades of continued foreign influence on US energy policy. Protecting us from Keystone XL would protect US land from oil spills and leaks.
Most importantly, protecting us from Keystone XL would protect our atmosphere from one of the most carbon-intensive fuels ever discovered.
If the president won't protect us, who is he protecting?"
From the page: "Instead of reversing the jet stream, we need to reverse the ratio of polluted energy to 70% clean energy and 30% fossil fuels by 2020. We have all the technology we need to get off fossil fuels but the industrial polluters are forcing us to rely on their antiquated, barbaric dirty sources of energy. Relying on fossil fuels is like forcing physicians to use blood leeches and hand-made saws for surgeries. This is not the Industrial Age of the late 1800s. It's 2014. Either we move on to the Age of Green Energy or we'll perish.
Life cannot be sustained without water."
From the page: "In explaining why economic inequality is important, Obama attempted to speak to everyone, not just progressive voters. Inequality is everyoneâs problem, he argued, because it touches everything: our economy, society, and democracy. Because this problem affects everyone, everyone has a stake in its resolution. As Obama said, âoepeople get the bad taste that the system is rigged, and that increases cynicism and polarization, and it decreases the political participation that is a requisite part of our system of self-government.â
If Obama were as leftist as the Journal's editorialists and other conservatives claim he is, he'd push for a massive fiscal stimulus to create jobs, and he'd pay for it with progressive taxation that targets the 1 percent. Instead he advocates a small role for the government in expanding opportunity and increasing mobility, and he hopes that the 1 percent will see that all this is good for them too.
Why so modest? According to Gary Dorrien, an ethicist at Union Theological Seminary and author of The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective (2012), Obama is not ideologically driven to redistribute. Rather than pushing progressive aims, he "advocates, and exemplifies, the communitarian approach of pulling people together to advance the common good."
From the page: "GIBBS: We need to go back to the 70s! In today's world, everybody's so afraid to take risks. It's like, come on guys, what possibly could go wrong, especially when you're 23, you can make a couple of mistakes and it would be OK. The way that politicians react is when there is public voices saying, we want you to behave differently. We've seen this...you look at Governor Cuomo. Governor Cuomo wants to frack all of New York. He would love to frack tomorrow, but there are huge voices across the state of New York saying, no, you can't do this to our water, you can't do this to our land, you can't do this to our food. That is how we win.
CURWOOD: What are your largest concerns about human health and chemical exposure these days?
GIBBS: You know, I'm really frightened. All the science that is coming out is really talking about us being pre-polluted, that is the term they often use, but the chemicals that my mother had transferred to me, the chemicals that I had transferred to my daughter, and she has two grandchildren....I have two grandchildren, she has two children. And so her chemicals transferred to her children, and our bodies are just so contaminated now, and when you look at some of the increase in disease, and you're saying, "oh my goodness how do we turn some of this back?" So for example, vinyl flooring. There was just a study that came out about vinyl flooring and asthma. Vinyl flooring off-gasses, it evaporates chemicals into the air. And they're talking about potentially it being associated with autism. Sort of makes sense when you think about a small child that's laying on a blanket on the floor, a vinyl floor, and then that child is crawling around on that vinyl floor, putting his or her fingers in her mouth, and just collecting all these chemicals into their bodies, and that's very frightening. It's like, we have to stop doing that. And we have to at least let the consumers know, what's in the product. Right now there are 80,000 chemicals on the market, and we have little clue about what chemicals cause what disease. I'm sure there are a lot of very safe chemicals there, but I couldn't tell you that, nor can the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Food and Drug Administration."
From the page: "Fans of science fiction (or of anything, really) are frequently stereotyped in our culture as being only one sort of person, but Doctor Who fans are incredibly diverse,â Grady said. âoeCommon denominator: they love this show and want to watch it and talk about it with others.â
In a way, itâs fitting that Doctor Who began so differently from how itâs ended up. The Doctor changes his face, and companions leave, but the adventures continue. It, in turn, kept regenerating into something new and differentâ"but, unfailingly, enjoyable."
Whether Sanders runs or not, the prospect of such a speak-truth-to-power presidency is an appealing one. And the senator from Vermont is right: Americans do not just deserve such an option. In these times, they need a serious progressive alternative the ugly politics of austerity -- and the empty politics of compromise.
From the page: "From a theoretical vantage point, insurers could decide to reinstate all of the plans, none of the plans, or some of the plans. Logistical, regulatory and financial considerations will control the actual outcome. But the optimal scenario is that people whose plans don窶t get renewed will blame insurers, and that of the people whose plans do get renewed, a healthy portion and distribution will learn of the other options available to them and try their luck in the exchanges.
Neither piece of that scenario is guaranteed to materialize. That could mean higher premiums next year and an ongoing political crisis for Dems. But it constitutes both a gamble 窶" a doubling down, if you will 窶" on the law itself, and a reprisal against rapacious insurers who tried to capitalize on the Obamacare launch at the expense of their customers and good public policy."
Health insurance comparisons....
In addition to poverty, another thing greatly affecting life expectancy in the U.S. is its dysfunctional health insurance system. Becoming unemployed or underemployed can easily limit one's access to healthcare in the U.S., and according to a study the Commonwealth Fund conducted in 2012, 55 million Americans lacked health insurance at some point last year. Preventative healthcare can save lives, and health problems that are quite treatable can become much worse when so many Americans are uninsured or under-insured (meaning that they have significant gaps in their coverage that could easily result in a medical bankruptcy). Even Americans who are insured can have a hard time being treated for high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease when they have to fight with their insurance companies over every little thing.
Voter suppression ultimately fails.
Voter suppression schemes may be temporarily successful. What President Obama's 2012 popular win in Ohio proves is that these types of voter suppression ultimately backfire. When you threaten someone's inalienable rights, they generally respond.
Everyone knows they have the right to vote. Everyone knows they have the right to not exercise their vote. If they believe that right that they have may be threatened, they are likely to use it to confirm that they in fact have that right.
Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline outlined new plans for persuading President Obama to reject the project at a conference for young climate activists here over the weekend. And while most organizers continued to express optimism that the administration would not allow TransCanada to complete the 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, they are preparing for the likelihood that the project will win approval.
From the page: "Many Americans don't like to admit it" they prefer to think of their families as reaching the middle class without government help" but the reality is that the Great American Middle Class was a phenomenon made possible by the intervention of the federal government beginning with Franklin Roosevelt and continuing into the 1970s. [For one telling example of this reality -- the Cheney family, which was lifted out of poverty by FDR's policies -- see Consortiumnews.com's "Dick Cheney: Son of the New Deal."]
Further, in the face of corporate globalization and business technology, two other forces making the middle-class work force increasingly obsolete, the only hope for a revival of the Great American Middle Class is for the government to increase taxes on the rich, the ones who have gained the most from cheap foreign labor and advances in computer technology, in order to fund projects to build and strengthen the nation, from infrastructure to education to research and development to care for the sick and elderly to environmental protections.
In other words, the only strategy that makes sense for the average American is to reject the theories of Ronald Reagan and the Right. Rather than seeing the government as "the problem" and higher taxes on the rich as "bad," the American people must come to understand that, to a great extent, government has to be a big part of the solution."
Make your own leaf decorations that will last...☺
From the page: "A film is judged by how or whether we remember it. Unlike the babbling brook of Hollywood - with its suppression of truth, fake heroes and warmongering - a masterpiece, or just a good movie, is unforgettable. "
I would love these with chocolate cupcake batter and orange frosting and orange flavoring in the mini pumpkins! ♥
Maybe it's Donut Day today too! ☺