• There is no planet B

    Review of Kim Stanley Robinson. The Ministry of the Future (New York: Orbit Books, 2020) by John M Repp This sprawling novel with 106 chapters starts with a deadly heat wave in India. A heat dome combines with high humidity that is beyond human survival. Millions die. We have been hearing for years about sea level rise, and indeed we could lose all our beaches in a few years. However, we have barely heard about high humidity and heat combined to a level that could kill millions in some areas of the world, including the American southeast. Bill McKibben, a leader of the environmental group 350.org, wrote in his review of Robinson’s book in New York Review of Books that…

  • No More Profit-seeking Middlemen in Our Medicare

    by John M Repp Medicare was passed in 1965 as a program to provide health care for seniors and disabled people. In the U.S. most people get their medical insurance from their employer as a benefit. But after retirement, or for those people who cannot work, the Medicare program has been a life saver. It was simple and efficient. 98% of its budget went to patient care.   There were gaps from the very beginning. It did not provide for nursing home care, hearing aids, glasses, and dental care. In 1997, Medicare Advantage plans were allowed to be set up by traditional for-profit insurance companies to plug some of the gaps. Many of the Medicare Advantage plans are low-cost or…

  • March 2022 Newsletter print edition

    The latest print version of Pacific Call is now available as a pdf to view or download. See the latest articles including the ones posted since our last newsletter issue! Plus some excellent letters to the editor, interesting graphics, and tidbits. CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE INCLUDE WWFOR Spring Retreat online                                  p. 1 A review of The Ministry of the Future        p. 2-3 Stop Privatizing Medicare                                p. 3 Less disinformation, more Internet savvy    p. 4 A review of The Dawn of Everything              p. 5-6 Zoltan Grossman: geography of Ukraine     p. 7 Cindy and Tom’s letters to editors        p. 8 U.S. Senate blocks Freedom to Vote bill       p. 8 Click here to see the pdf version. Full…

  • Indigenous American’s Role in the American Revolution and other provocative ideas in The Dawn of Everything:

      A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2021), 692 pages. A short review by John M Repp of parts of the massive book. Before the French and Indian War, there had been several hundred years of French colonization in the New World around the Great Lakes. Many Jesuit missionaries learned the language of the natives to try and convert them to Christianity, and the missionaries reported back to the educated public in France. Several transcribed dialogues between the Jesuits and native intellectuals became best-selling books in France. This is at the time when the whole French branch of the movement we call the Enlightenment was being born in the…

  • December 2021 Newsletter print edition

    The latest print version of Pacific Call is now available as a pdf to view or download. See the latest articles including the ones posted since our last newsletter issue! Plus some excellent letters to the editor, interesting graphics, and tidbits. Click here Full URL is https://wwfor.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/PacificCall1221.pdf

  • Washington Poor People’s Campaign

    Forward Together! Not One Step Back! by Dorothy Van Soest and Romy Garcia, Members of the Washington Poor People’s Campaign Coordinating Committee Our goal is to create a Beloved Community and this will require a qualitative change in our soul as well as a quantitative change in our lives. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At the November program meeting of the Seattle Fellowship of Reconciliation Chapter, we began our presentation about the Washington Poor People’s Campaign with the vision of a beloved community, the concept first coined by philosopher and theologian, FOR founder Josiah Royce, and then popularized by Dr. King, himself a member of FOR. Dr. King’s beloved community philosophy centered on the belief that “racism, bigotry and…

  • Government Spending & MMT

    The Truth about Money Can Allow Us to Spend More Federal Dollars to Help People Post-Pandemic – Without More Taxes by Vandana Whitney In 1971, President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard. Fifty years later, the members of Congress seem convinced we’re still on the gold standard and they are not alone in that mistaken belief. While going off the gold standard made radical changes to our monetary system, the national conversation about how money works barely changed at all. Under the gold standard, the federal government was very restricted as to how much currency it could issue because dollars had to be backed up by a certain amount of gold. If the public or other trading countries…

  • The Difficult Problem of Climate Change

    by John M Repp Many people think the problem of climate change will simply require that we change how we get energy; that there is a technological solution. I thought that until recently. We just need to switch from fossil fuels to renewables. Build hundreds of wind farms and put solar panels on roofs everywhere. Electrify our cars, trucks, and trains. Start by withdrawing the subsidies from fossil fuels embedded in the tax system. All it will take is the political will. We were shocked last summer when a “heat dome” parked itself over the Pacific Northwest. There were temperatures of 121 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in British Columbia. Too much of the fruit crop in Eastern Washington and British Columbia…

  • The Rise and Subsequent Downward Slide of the Middle Class in the United States Since 1938

    by John M Repp An economic historian looking at the USA over the past 70 years would be alarmed, assuming they wanted the American people to be healthy and happy. The two charts below tell much of the story. In the first chart, the minimum wage kept pace with the rise in productivity from 1938 to 1968 as the left-hand half of the chart shows. That was the period when the great American middle-class came on the stage of history. After 1968 the productivity curve climbed ever higher but the minimum wage and the general wage level stagnated. This means there was a great increase in wealth creation, but the wage earners, which was most of the American population, were…

  • September 2021 Newsletter print edition

    The latest print version of Pacific Call is now available as a pdf to view or download. See the latest articles including the ones posted since our last newsletter issue, plus some enlightning tidbits! Click here Full URL is https://wwfor.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PacificCall0921.pdf