Smoking remains the number one cause of preventable deaths in the US. Last year, nearly half a million people died of smoking-related illnesses like emphysema and lung cancer. That’s nearly one of every five deaths, a number that is greater than the number of deaths caused by AIDS, drug and alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. Smoking also costs American taxpayers and businesses over $150 billion a year in terms of health care and lost productivity – that’s approximately $7 for every pack of cigarettes sold.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which suggests that physical forces are gravitating to entropy, is a perfect metaphor for the moment. European economies are cascading into the netherworld of insolvency even as governments deny the reality. President Obama seemingly defies the rule of law by issuing executive orders that bypass the Congress. Unemployment in the U.S. remains over eight percent for the 42nd straight month. And unemployment in Spain for those under 25 is at 50 percent.
It appears that despite a spate of super-technical achievement, in which managers of America’s new computer-connected technology believe they can create or improve on just about anything, despots of American Capitalism are mounting an all-out campaign to destroy and subjugate Organized Labor.
No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in support of the constitutionality of the federal health care reform law, than a new attack was launched on health coverage for the poor.
One provision of the Affordable Care Act dramatically expanded the Medicaid program – which provides health insurance for the poor. The ACA requires that states have to expand coverage to those who make just above poverty level. If a state refused the expansion, the federal government would withdraw its funding of that state’s program.
Lately, there have been some very interesting female characters appearing in movies. These characters are young-- they are in their twenties-- and the stories that spotlight them deal with issues involving romance and commitment.
My wife, Ann and I have fond memories of the time we lived in Wisconsin. I got my Ph D from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Ann, taught in the public schools and our son was born in Milwaukee. We have always had a great deal of respect for the great progressive traditions of the State of Wisconsin.
Thus, when Governor Scott Walker introduced a budget bill into the State Legislature that would not merely cut pensions of government workers but strip them of all collective bargaining rights, I was heartened by the outpouring of opposition within the state.
The America I love is disappearing from the public scene. When the Supreme Court ruling upheld the constitutionality of ObamaCare, a disturbing and, in my opinion, dangerous precedent has been created, one not different from the “separate but equal” precedent behind Plessy v. Ferguson. A majority court decision confirms the view that there are virtually no limitations on the power of Congress. Using a latitudinarian interpretation of the Commerce Clause, Congress can mandate almost anything.
The 4th of July holiday is here and for many of us that means gathering with family and friends. Inevitably at these gatherings, the subject of work comes up. My work focuses on climate change. Like religion and politics, climate change can make for some lively conversation.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health care reform law which is critical to improving access to quality, affordable health care for people with cancer and their families.
The ruling is a victory for cancer patients and survivors nationwide, who for decades have been denied health coverage, charged far more than they can afford for lifesaving care, and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, simply because they have a pre-existing condition.