“Political Religion at the Jewish New Year”

By STEVEN JONAS MD, MPH - 10.11.15

For Secular Humanist Jews (and I am one) Yom Kippur is not a day of atonement, as it is for theist Jews.  (In 2015, Yom Kippur was observed on September 22-23.)  We may well have done wrong things in the past year, but we do not regard them as “sins.” “Sin” is a religious concept requiring the existence of an unknown, unknowable, and unprovable, yet somehow all-powerful super-natural being which at some level has control over our lives or parts of them. For us, Yom Kippur, the most important day in the Jewish calendar, is a day of renewal and rededication. We reflect, we restore, we renew — we look ahead, not behind

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IRIS HAS A TERRIBLE HEADACHE FROM DRUGS.

By Iris Vander Pluym on 10.11.15

Here we have a Washington Post story highlighting a recent "scandal": Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of an off-patent AIDS drug by over 5,000 percent. The Post reports:

The major pharmaceutical and biotech industry groups have portrayed Shkreli's actions as totally repugnant and the work of just one company, acting alone, with a flippant young chief executive who doesn't reflect the broader values, practices, or trends of other companies.

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CORBYN UNDER FIRE: Faux Patriotism and Assault by Scoundrels

By Michael Faulkner - 10.11.15

Anyone still harbouring illusions about the objectivity or veracity of the British media should have been disabused of them after the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour party in September. It soon became clear that almost without exception the reaction to his election was hostile. In the case of the corporate print media which includes most national newspapers, this was to be expected. But coverage in more liberal papers such as The Observer and The Guardian was sometimes little better.

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The Cost of Health Care Will Ruin You, Unless You Embrace a REAL Wellness Lifestyle and Experience Random Good Fortune

By Donald B. Ardell - 10.11.15

Introduction

U.S. medical spending, already at $3 trillion, grew 5.5% last year, according to a study cited in The Wall Street Journal (Louise Radnofsky, "U.S. Health-Spending Growth Jumped to 5.5% in 2014", WSJ, July 28, 2015). Soon, one of every five dollars spent in the U.S. will be on medical care. One likely consequence: employers will continue investing in wellness programs while offering only high-deductible insurance plans with steep out-of-pocket copays. If you’re going to get sick, and who isn’t, you better be well off.

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Europe’s Elections: A Coming Storm?

By Conn Hallinan - 10.11.15

Between now and next April, four members of the European Union (EU) have held, or will hold national elections that will go a long ways toward determining whether the 28-member organization will continue to follow an economic model that has generated vast wealth for a few, widespread misery for many, and growing income inequality. The choice is between an almost religious focus on the “sin” of debt and the “redemption” of austerity, as opposed to a re-calibration toward economic stimulus and social welfare.

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Obama’s Report Card

By Loren Adams – 10.11.2015

The initial stage of the 2016 election cycle is upon us, coinciding with Obama’s final year – the lame duck season. This would seem the appropriate time to issue some kind of report card. How Obama is perceived to have performed in office will determine who’s elected next year, no doubt. That’s the significance.

Legacies aren’t finalized for decades in most instances. But to be fair, enough is on record to allow rudimentary evaluation. We don’t have to let the dust settle to draw some conclusions.

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