The Make Do and Mend book was published in England during World War II. Many of us might be adopting that philosophy, due to faltering economies in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Photo of exhibition at the Castle Museum, York, England.
While George W. Bush continues to insist the economy is strong, the United States appears to be in an economic downturn, if not edging towards full-blown recession. From the mortgage crisis, to three dollars a gallon gasoline to 47 million Americans without health insurance, it's not just the poor who are affected. Two of our staunchest symbols of capitalism, Citibank and Merrill Lynch, have incurred enormous losses. Now they're being bailed out by the Saudi royals, the Bush family's wealthiest foreign friends. And Bush's solution to America's troubles is to suggest a vague rescue plan issuing small tax rebate checks to some Americans?
Bush already has poured billions of taxpaper dollars into Iraq, but says we don't have enough money to continue to fund SCHIP, the program providing health care to millions of children. Late last year, the president issued his second veto on legislation to expand children's health coverage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has scheduled a vote January 23 to try to override the president's veto. The House fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to quash Bush's first SCHIP veto.
Please consider contacting your Congressional representatives and asking him or her to vote to override Bush's SCHIP veto. Shouldn't every child be provided with adequate access to medical care?
More potential for identity theft in Britain
Meanwhile in Britain - also suffering tremendous economic fallout from the American mortgage crisis - more incompetence in safeguarding citizens' private information has been revealed. Personal details of 600,000 people have gone missing, after a Royal Navy officer's laptop was stolen. Police are investigating the theft of the laptop, taken from a vehicle in Birmingham. The computer contained personal information - including passport details, national insurance numbers and bank details - about British citizens who had expressed interest in joining the Armed Services.
Why would a laptop containing such sensitive information be left in a vehicle? The theft was discovered January 9, so why wasn't the news released publicly until nine days later? Defense Secretary Des Browne is expected to appear before Members of Parliament next week to answer these questions.
The theft was revealed on the same day a motorist found documents bearing people's personal details near Exeter Airport, Devon. In December, the same motorist found similar documents at the same spot! And in November, two computer disks containing child benefit records were lost, after HM Revenue and Customs sent unregistered and unencrypted disks to the National Audit Office.