At length the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool, and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank, who instantly snuffed his candle out, and put on his hat.
The poverty and despair of the Cuban people is almost beyond our comprehension. Many live in desperation, oppression heavy and not weakening. Yet, we are accustomed to hearing from Cuba’s rulers and sympathetic western media that their troubles are to blame almost entirely on the United States trade embargo. How could this be? Nothing stops Cuba from trading with every other nation on earth and yet they are barren, the economy barely better than nothing.
Those of us in a comfortable situation, used to considering the far-reaching implications of health care policy, forget how much pain and agony one faulty tooth can cause. And we forget, just how much it costs to have that tooth fixed, and what misery and complications might befall those without the means to pay for repairs or removal.
The Chelan PUD is dealing with a run on power requests. The would-be operators of small data centers and processors have cumulatively asked for more power than the PUD can sell, with 34 inquiries for a total of 220 megawatts. That is more than the load for Chelan County as a whole, reports The World’s Christine Pratt.
Face it. Vandalism is a crime beyond explanation. Ordinary people with ordinary motives and emotion have difficulty understanding destruction for destruction’s sake. It is much easier to fathom theft, fraud, selling contraband or other forbidden means of personal enrichment. Crimes of addiction, anger or passion at least have some plausible motive. Smashing windows in a high school? Why?
In ethics and philosophy courses they call it the ticking time bomb scenario, a classic hypothetical dilemma. Say you are a leader attempting to protect your people from a violent despotic enemy. Your enemy is demonstrably inhuman — torture, mass murder, it knows no ethical bounds, and for that you fear them all the more.
Wind power subsidies are at the crisis stage again. Our wacky Congress is dithering, swaying, offering then refusing, and tax breaks for many things hang in the balance, including generous financial backing for many windmills yet to rise.
The people with clipboards and pens, paid to fill out forms and such, have a natural and understandable dislike of late-20th century technology. Think about the humble bar code, those odd thick-and-thin lines you see on just about everything you buy. A quick flash at the reader, followed by a mild confirmation beep, and you do in a fraction of a second what a human being once did for wages. You record the item, price and sale in a record, which itself once was kept by the career nine-key punchers ...
You are falling behind, but you knew that, didn’t you? If you are like the great many — a middle wage earner, family income somewhere near the halfway point between top and bottom — then chances are good you haven’t felt a big lift from the rising economy. Statistically speaking, middle class incomes are stagnating while the cost of the necessities of life — health care, food, housing and cellphones — is rising. Consequently, you represent a newfound political opportunity.
Two years ago on this date we wrote about the Miracle on Walla Walla Street. Town Toyota Center, only months before on the brink of financial disaster and a $42 million bond default, had suddenly become a genuine, self-supporting public agency, paying its debts and moving forward to new sunlit uplands. This was thanks in no small part to voter-approved sales tax surcharges and strong municipal leadership.
We all make choices. What we choose to do, where we choose to spend our money, has a local impact, whatever we do. We can choose to shop and spend at local businesses, so a share of our money stays local and spreads benefits to our friends and neighbors. Or, we can shop online and send our money away. It will benefit someone we don’t know, someone far, far distant.
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