No Picture

Military vs. Climate Security: The 2011 Budgets Compared

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

The U.S. military now recognizes climate change as a security “threat multiplier.” Since 2008 the Institute for Policy Studies has been measuring the extent to which federal spending is being reallocated to reflect that perception. Between FY 2008 and FY 2011 the federal climate change budget more than doubled, from $7.4 billion to $18.1 billion. As a result, the gap between federal spending on military as opposed to climate security was cut more than in half. In 2008 the U.S. budgeted $94 on tools of traditional military force for every dollar spent on climate. That ratio will narrow to $41 to $1 in the 2011 fiscal year. read more

No Picture

Why We Should All Move to Germany

Source: The Indypendent

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?:How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life, Thomas Geoghegan New Press, 2010

In the wake of the recession, the plight of the U.S. worker has gone from bad to worse.

But not to worry — labor lawyer and author Thomas Geoghegan has the answer. He confirms what we have all suspected in our darkest moments: life is better in Europe, and in Germany, in particular.

While Americans were overworked before the recession, the current financial crisis has hit Americans with the double-whammy of increased hours (for those who still have jobs) and a spike in living costs. At 1,804 hours a year, Americans clock in 400 hours more than our German counterparts—that’s the equivalent of 10 extra 40-hour work weeks each year. Our GDP is higher than Germany’s, but only from astronomical spending on private healthcare, childcare and tuition — all of which Germany provides for free, or nearly free, to its citizens. read more

No Picture

Excommunicated Over Abortion

Source: In These Times

The swift excommunication of a nun for approving an abortion has triggered a debate over church doctrine—and raised questions about whether Catholic hospitals routinely break federal law.

Earlier this year, Sister Margaret McBride was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for approving an abortion needed to save a woman’s life. An administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, McBride was part of the hospital’s ethics committee that decided in November 2009 to allow a 27-year-old woman with pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs, to terminate her 11-week pregnancy. Due to her condition, the woman would almost certainly have died without the abortion. read more