SchwartzReport: Top 12 Ecologicially Sustainable Countries

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Because we are controlled by carbon interests we rank 33rd on the Environmental Performance Index. Other countries not as encumbered have already begun to move to sustainability. In the coming decades they are going to prosper, we are going to suffer increasing decline until we change our social policies to reflect well as the first priority.

12 Ecologically Sustainable Countries and Why They Should Be Admired
JODIE GUMMOW

LIST ONLY:

1. Iceland   .   2. Switzerland   .   3. Costa Rica   .   4. Sweden   .   5. Luxembourg   .   6. Germany   .   7. Cuba   .   8. Colombia   .   9. Singapore   .   10. France   .   11. Norway   .   12. Finland

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Sep 1

SchwartzReport: Feds Lie, Marijuana Good… Could Marijuana Plus 9/11 Plus Unemployment Plus Wanton Wars Lead to Electoral Reform?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

I think this essay is stating the truth. I have read stuff coming out from the government on the subject of marijuana so flagrantly wrong that it has to be deliberate. Nobody speaking truthfully about the present state of research could possible make those statements.

The Feds Are Incapable of Telling Truth About Pot
PAUL ARMENTANO – AlterNet (U.S.)

In her latest blog post [3], US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that ‘science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?

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Aug 30

SchwartzReport: Market Basket — Board Fires Progressive CEO, Boomers Go on Strike to Reinstate — Mutuality Economics from the Bottom-Up

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is a lovely story of how capitalism could be run. It illustrates very clearly the difference between the vampire capitalism that dominates our economy, and the compassionate capitalism we could have.

Market Basket: The Return of Boomer Activism
LAUREN STILLER RIKLEEN – Forbes

Workers at the Market Basket supermarket chain just successfully undertook a high-risk job action with potentially historic repercussions. But this was more than just a fight for leadership control. It was also a story about boomers standing up for workplace values.

. . . . . . .

Arthur T. ran Market Basket with a straightforward and progressive management philosophy: treat its 25,000 employees (and customers) with respect and attention; promote from within; provide great pay and retirement benefits and continually invest in your staff. As a result, he developed an extraordinarily devoted workforce of people who grew up at the company and remained for decades and took great pride in making the stores so successful.

Over time, though, Arthur T.’s pension programs and above-market salaries were criticized by the board, who felt such generosity depressed shareholder dividends. On June 23, the board ultimately voted to remove Arthur T. as president.

The Employees Push to Bring Back Their Boss

That’s when the chain’s employees – many of them boomers – rose up in revolt. Some went on strike; others played key roles in protests including rallies attended by thousands.

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Aug 29

SchwartzReport: 17,000 Police Agencies in the USA, All of Them Concealing How Many People — Generally Black — They Kill Each Year…

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Today’s news brought yet more stories of police shootings of people whose only real crime seems to be being black. It made me wonder how many people are killed by the police each year. It turns out that is a very hard number to pin down. So I went looking to see if anyone had written something recently about this! . Here’s what I found. I was amazed to learn were have 17,000 different police agencies.

How Cops get Away With it: Why the Government can Read Your Emails, But Not Count Shooting Deaths
HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, Contributing Writer – Salon

Complete safety copy below the fold.

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Aug 28

Eagle: Misery Index 2.0 – Real Unemployment, Real Income, Labor Share, Money Velocity (Charles Hugh Smith)

300 Million Talons...

300 Million Talons…

The New Misery Index

Charles Hugh Smith

The Status Quo is desperate to mask the declining fortunes of those who earn income from work, and the Misery Index 2.0 strips away the phony facade of bogus unemployment and inflation numbers.

The classic Misery Index is the sum of unemployment and inflation, though later variations have added interest rates and the relative shortfall or surplus of GDP growth.

Since the Status Quo figured out how to game unemployment and inflation to the point that these metrics are meaningless except as a meta-measure of centralized perception management, the Misery Index has lost its meaning as well.

I propose a Misery Index 2.0 of four less easily manipulated (and therefore more meaningful) metrics:

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Aug 25

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Precariat — Brokering Labor to the Bone — While Neglecting True Costs and Redesign

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Check App. Accept Job. Repeat.

In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty

EXTRACT

Ms. Guidry, 35, earns money by using her own car to ferry around strangers for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, ride services that let people summon drivers on demand via apps. She also assembles furniture and tends gardens for clients who find her on TaskRabbit, an online marketplace for chores.

Her goal is to earn at least $25 an hour, on average. Raising three children with her longtime partner, Jeffrey Bradbury, she depends on the income to help cover her family’s food and rent. That has become more unpredictable of late. Uber and Lyft, her driving mainstays, recently cut certain passenger fares. Last month, TaskRabbit overhauled the way its users select their helpers; immediately after the change, Ms. Guidry’s stream of new clients dried up.

“You don’t know day to day,” she said. “It’s very up in the air.”

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota: Anything less than a dollar a mile (50 cents for wear and gas, 50 cents for labor, home base door and return) is a losing proposition — to clear $25 an hour one must drive at least 50 billable miles in that hour. To make the $50,000 a year that $25 an hour would normally add up, one must have eight full revenue hours. Very few people achieve this, dog walkers being a possible exception. There are two sharing economies — perhaps many more. The first leverages existing assets and created variable income increases. The second leverages labor, and appears to be a losing proposition for most. What we see is a dearth of analytic models and a dearth of data — we see a desperate need for the rethinking and redesign of entire communities and cities to achieve cost of living reductions on the order of 50%, while optimizing the time-energy composition of the constituent individuals in any given community.

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Aug 18

Berto Jongman: Child abuse scandal raises disturbing questions about UK establishment

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Child abuse scandal raises disturbing questions about UK establishment

EXTRACT:

The UK’s child abuse scandal, rooted in the media, Westminster and the Royal Family and personified by serial abuser and BBC personality Jimmy Savile, has been shocking enough. But far more insulting to the victims, the nation and the world is the Cameron government’s attempt, in early July, to institute two separate child abuse inquiries led by establishment figures who, due to family and work connections, immediately faced suspicions of possible conflicts of interest.

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Aug 17

Berto Jongman: The Costs of War — Human Costs, Economic Costss, Social + Political Costs with Alternatives and Recommendations

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Over 350,000 Killed by Violence, $4.4 Trillion Spent and Obligated

The wars begun in 2001 have been tremendously painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. Each additional month and year of war adds to that toll. Moreover, the human costs of these conflicts will reverberate for years to come in each of those four countries. There is no turning the page on the wars with the end of hostilities, and there is even more need as a result to understand what those wars’ consequences are and will be.

The goal of the Costs of War Project has been to outline a broad understanding of the domestic and international costs and consequences of those wars. A team of 30 economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts, and physicians were assembled to do this analysis. Their research papers are posted and summarized on this website.

We asked:

  • What have been the wars’ costs in human and economic terms?
  • How have these wars changed the social and political landscape of the United States and the countries where the wars have been waged?
  • What have been the public health consequences of the wars?
  • What will be the long term legacy of these conflicts for veterans?
  • What is the long term economic effect of these wars likely to be?
  • Were and are there alternative less costly and more effective ways to prevent further terror attacks?

Some of the project’s findings:

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Aug 16

SchwartzReport: 25% of Adults World-Wide Enjoy Full Employment

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This very important trend is virtually invisible. It’s not that the data is unavailable, as this report shows. It is that it is not discussed. But if only 25 per cent of the adults in the world are employed full-time that means three quarters aren’t. A major predictor of social ! unrest. Click through to see the important charts.

Only 1.3 Billion Worldwide Employed Full Time for Employer
Jon Clifton and Ben Ryan – The Gallup Organization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — About one in four adults worldwide — or roughly 1.3 billion people — worked full time for an employer in 2013. Gallup’s Payroll to Population (P2P) rate, which reports the percentage of the total adult population that works at least 30 hours per week for an employer, has not grown since 2012.

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Aug 15

Edward Snowden with Jim Bamford in WIRED: Next NSA Revelations “Would Be the Death of All of Them Politically”

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

The most wanted man in the world

Jim Bamford

WIRED, 13 August 2014

EXTRACTS

“It’s like the boiling frog,” Snowden tells me. “You get exposed to a little bit of evil, a little bit of rule-breaking, a little bit of dishonesty, a little bit of deceptiveness, a little bit of disservice to the public interest, and you can brush it off, you can come to justify it. But if you do that, it creates a slippery slope that just increases over time, and by the time you’ve been in 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, you’ve seen it all and it doesn’t shock you. And so you see it as normal. And that’s the problem, that’s what the Clapper event was all about. He saw deceiving the American people as what he does, as his job, as something completely ordinary. And he was right that he wouldn’t be punished for it, because he was revealed as having lied under oath and he didn’t even get a slap on the wrist for it. It says a lot about the system and a lot about our leaders.”

Read full article with many new revelations.

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Aug 13