About stuartbramhall

Retired child and adolescent psychiatrist and American expatriate in New Zealand. In 2002, I made the difficult decision to close my 25-year Seattle practice after 15 years of covert FBI harassment. I describe the unrelenting phone harassment, illegal break-ins and six attempts on my life in my 2010 book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.

U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets

As cities and states across the country set ambitious mid-century climate change goals for the first time and as prices for lithium-ion batteries plummet, a growing number of transit agencies are stepping up efforts to replace dirtier diesel buses with electric ones. Nearly every state has a transit agency that now owns—or will soon own—at least one electric bus, according to a recent report from CALSTART, a clean transportation advocacy group.

County Sustainability Group

Cities are still working through early challenges, but they see health and climate benefits ahead. In Chicago, two buses save the city $24,000 a year in fuel costs.

BYD electric bus factory in Lancaster, California. Credit: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty ImagesChina’s BYD electric bus company has a factory in Lancaster, California. While the vast majority of the world’s electric buses are in China, the U.S. numbers are growing. Credit: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

In the coastal city of Gulfport, Mississippi, the state’s first fully-electric bus will soon be cruising through the city’s downtown streets.

The same goes for Portland, Maine—it just received a grant to buy that state’s first two e-buses, which are set to roll out in 2021. And Wichita expects to have Kansas’ first operating electric bus picking up passengers as early as this month after receiving a federal grant.

As cities and states across the country set ambitious mid-century climate change goals for the first time…

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Study Shows Raising Minimum Wage by $1 Could Prevents Thousands of Suicides

Above Photo: Raising the minimum wage by $1 or more appears to have a protective effect against suicide, especially in times when unemployment is high and it’s hard to find a job. Matt Rourke/AP

A new study suggests that raising the minimum wage might lower the suicide rate — especially when unemployment is high — and that doing so might have saved tens of thousands of people from dying by suicide in the last quarter century.

The minimum federal minimum wage is $7.25, though many states have set it higher. Between 1990 and 2015, raising the minimum wage by $1 in each state might have saved more than 27,000 lives, according to a report published this week in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. An increase of $2 in each state’s minimum wage could have prevented more than 57,000 suicides.

“This is a way that you can, it seems, improve the well-being of people working at lower-wage jobs and their dependents,” says John Kaufman, the lead author on the study and an epidemiology doctoral student at Emory University.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Crucially, researchers found that raising the minimum wage appears to reduce the suicide rate more when it’s harder to find a job. In bad times, the same $1 increase could save more people than it might during good times […]

Continued at NPR

How the Amish Preserve Community by Resisting Technology

The Amish: A People of Preservation

Directed by John L Ruth (2000)

Film Review

 Like social justice activists everywhere, many of us us openly mourn the destruction of community and increased social isolation under advanced industrial capitalism. As Charles Eisenstein describes in Sacred Economics,* many of us have become conditioned to rely on technology, rather than each other, to meet basic survival needs. The problem is clearly aggravated by the growing up take of social media (especially among young people) in preference to face-to-face contact.

Industrialized society has recognized too late that human beings have a powerful biological need for social interaction and interdependence. Watching this documentary, I was intrigued to learn that North American Amish communities are wary of technology, not because it’s sinful, but because they recognize its disruptive potential for their communities.

Skyrocketing land prices have forced many Amish communities to employ mechanization (combines, harvesters, milking machines, etc) to maintain the economic viability of their family farms. However most are careful to ensure that new technology doesn’t alter the collective character of farm work or preclude the continuing engagement of older family members. For example, using technology to process harvests is permissible, but not to propel farm vehicles. For this horses must be used.

Likewise nearly all Amish use pay phones for business reasons, but land lines and cellphones aren’t allowed within the home (they disrupt family life). Also the Amish are allowed to accept rides in neighbors’ cars – they’re just forbidden to own vehicles themselves.

Here the filmmakers agree with Eisenstein – collective work has always been one of the most enjoyable ways for human beings to interact. Engaging in collective farm work, such as harvesting, is a form of recreation for the Amish. Likewise when 30 or more men gather to build a house or barn, the Amish refer to it as a “frolic.”

According to the film, in 2000 there were approximately 200,000 Amish in North America in two dozen states and Ontario. Their religion originated from a Swiss Anabaptist sect formed in 1670 that subsequently split into Amish and Mennonites (who tend to be less conservative). Due to religious persecution, both groups migrated to Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 18th and 19th century. Amish parents raise their children to speak English and a Swiss dialect of German (commonly known as Pennsylvania Dutch).


*See Sacred Economics: Life After Capitalism

Anyone with a public library card can view this documentary free on Kanopy. Type “Kanopy” and the name of your library into your search engine to register.

 

Financial N-Option will Settle Trump’s Oil War

If Tehran ever decided to shut down the Strait of Hormuz – call it the nuclear option – that would trigger a world depression as trillions of dollars of derivatives imploded. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) counts about $600 billion in total derivatives. Not really. Swiss sources say there are at least 1.2 quadrillion with some placing it at 2.5 quadrillion. That would imply a derivatives market 28 times the world’s GDP. On Hormuz, the shortage of 22% of the world oil supply simply could not be papered over. It would detonate a collapse and cause a market crash infinitely worse than 1933 Weimar Germany.

Astute News

The bombshell facts were delivered by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, during an extraordinary, historic parliamentary session in Baghdad on Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani had flown into Baghdad on a normal carrier flight, carrying a diplomatic passport. He had been sent by Tehran to deliver, in person, a reply to a message from Riyadh on de-escalation across the Middle East. Those negotiations had been requested by the Trump administration.

So Baghdad was officially mediating between Tehran and Riyadh, at the behest of Trump. And Soleimani was a messenger. Adil Abdul-Mahdi was supposed to meet Soleimani at 8:30 am, Baghdad time, last Friday. But a few hours before the appointed time, Soleimani died as the object of a targeted assassination at Baghdad airport.

Let that sink in – for the annals of 21st century diplomacy. Once again: it does not matter whether the assassination order was issued by…

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700 + American Doctors Given Over $1M Each From Pharma To Push Drugs & Medical Devices

Is the entire Western Medical system really a trusted authority and an advocate for human well-being, or is just a business that infallibly puts profits over health?

Nwo Report

Source:  Richard Enos

  • The Facts:Even though Western medical companies have been required to publicly disclose payments to doctors for promotional work over the last five years, there has been a significant rise in these practices, leading to 700 doctors earning more than $1M.
  • Reflect On:Is the entire Western Medical system really a trusted authority and an advocate for human well-being, or is just a business that infallibly puts profits over health?

In a very thorough and revealing analysis of statistical industry payment data, ProPublica disclosed that more than 2,500 physicians have received at least half a million dollars apiece from drugmakers and medical device companies in the past five years alone, while more than 700 of those doctors received at least $1 million, and that doesn’t include money for research or royalties from inventions.

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In their article, the authors note that their previous analysis in 2013, which found out…

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Study Shows Medicare for All Could Save US $600 Billion Annually on Paperwork and Other ‘Useless Bureaucracy’

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