Let’s Have a Post-Election Peace Accord – NationalJournal.com

In this incredibly tight election, there are a few things we know. Whatever the results are, they will show an incredibly polarized electorate. Nearly 95 percent of the partisan bases of each party will vote for their candidate. And because the election will be extremely close, the victor likely will have little mandate to govern and little cooperation from the opposite party in Congress.

In addition to the partisan divide that exists in this country, there also has developed an unfortunate divide at other levels. The election results will further highlight this problem.

via Let’s Have a Post-Election Peace Accord – NationalJournal.com.

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Health Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries | PBS NewsHour

How much is good health care worth to you? $8,233 per year? Thats how much the U.S. spends per person.Worth it?That figure is more than two-and-a-half times more than most developed nations in the world, including relatively rich European countries like France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. On a more global scale, it means U.S. health care costs now eat up 17.6 percent of GDP.

via Health Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries | PBS NewsHour.

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My Hometown Is Fracking: Harrison County Ohio

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

As the lady in the video says, “We’re blessed.”  This corner of the earth has waited a long time to see again something like the big oil boom in Scio in the late 1890’s and later the days of King Coal over east in Cadiz.  They were the times when Cadiz fed the coke ovens of Youngstown, Steubenville and Pittsburgh.  Shaft mines, to strip mines and now to fracking.  All of it on lands once grazed by sheep — an unlikely mix of the bucolic and the exploited.  It’s a battered land, often well reclaimed, and it’s a beautiful land, too.  It’s a land steeped in Civil War history and the birthplaces of both Clark Gable and General Custer. And nature seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.   I hope one day to ride my bike on those beautiful ridge tops and in the valleys next to the meadows of my childhood.  God bless.

Steadfast and cautious,

The Tortoise

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World Prayer (Stephen Vincent Benet)


[Oh God,]

Grant us a common faith

that man shall know bread and peace –

that he shall know righteousness, freedom, and security –

an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best –

not only in our own lands, but throughout the world.


– Stephen Vincent Benet

via prayers and poetry: world prayer (Stephen Vincent Benet).

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Welcome to the Recovery! Seriously, We Promise, Its Real This Time – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic

But lets focus on the positive. Housings comeback is the most important economic story of the moment, and maybe the year. Heres why. If residential investment simply returns to its long-term average going back to the 1990s, “it would add 1.7 percentage points to overall growth in the coming year,” Neil Irwin writes, putting overall growth in the coming year at about 3.2%. Now thats something you could call a recovery.

via Welcome to the Recovery! Seriously, We Promise, Its Real This Time – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic.

Notice the portraits on the wall!  FDR and Stalin, now there’s a pair!

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BBC News – Viewpoint: Fear and loneliness in China


Fear and Loneliness in China


What kind of society will China’s new leaders inherit? China has developed at unimaginable pace, lifting millions out of poverty. But as part of a series of viewpoints on challenges for China’s new leadership, Gerard Lemos, who conducted research in the mega-city of Chongqing, says it is easy to overlook its lonely underbelly.

via BBC News – Viewpoint: Fear and loneliness in China.

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Somalia – Understanding the Past, Looking to the Future | American Security Project

These days good news is coming out of Somalia thick and fast. It has been more than three months since Associated Press removed the tag of “world’s most dangerous city” from its capital, Mogadishu. Last week, extremist insurgents were pushed out of the commercial hub of Kismayo, Somalia’s second city, which they had vowed to defend at all costs.

via Somalia – Understanding the Past, Looking to the Future | American Security Project.

I don’t know how others are feeling, but I, for one, can’t even look at our National news these days. But I do like reading about anywhere else. So . . . how about Somalia? This post, I am pleased to say, was written by my daughter’s fiance.  — Nin Andrews

I still watch the national news, but I have left off the world of cable with all its sacred rages. I can’t take a steady diet of histrionics.  Unfortunately for several years now I have worried about the circus we call elections and adults behaving badly.  And then I read about a fourteen-year old Pakistani hero and about this Somalia story which doesn’t seem to be “news” anymore — perhaps that’s a good thing.  The UN is badly maligned by many, but I am glad it is still around.  My God, does it squander as much money as we have dumped into this multi-billion dollar campaign?  More stories like this one on Somalia seem so much more important.  There are patriots for freedom all over the world who are as passionate and dedicated as any of our own.  I worry what they think of us. — David Milliken

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Prairie Festival Draws Crowds to Land Institute in Kansas – NYTimes.com

“It seems to me that it’s a bad move to get into a contest between optimism and pessimism,” he said of the current political tug-of-war over agriculture and the environment. “The steadying requirement is for hope.”

And the last hope, he said, is this: “That no matter how bad things get, a person of good will and some ability can always do something to make it a little better.”

via Prairie Festival Draws Crowds to Land Institute in Kansas – NYTimes.com.

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