Sunday, March 31, 2013
Over the last 13 years, the stock market has twice crashed and touched off a recession: American households lost $5 trillion in the 2000 dot-com bust and more than $7 trillion in the 2007 housing crash. Sooner or later — within a few years, I predict — this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too.
I worry about this. --ts
The State Department’s Falklands press briefing was a diplomatic disaster for the US – Telegraph Blogs
I wrote a piece yesterday on the Obama administration’s appalling response to the Falkland Islands referendum, which emphatically demonstrated that more than 99 percent of the Islands’ inhabitants wish to remain as a British Overseas Territory. The State Department has since released a video and transcript of the press briefing given by spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The video is worth watching in full, as the Associated Press’s State Department correspondent Matthew Lee and another journalist question Nuland as to why the Obama administration will not recognise the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination, and why Washington refuses to stand with Great Britain, America’s closest friend and ally.
The video at the link is awesome. --ts
Friday, March 29, 2013
If Justice Kennedy adheres to that position in Fisher, the door will remain at least ajar for racial preferences. But in that event, Schuette will soon after provide an opportunity to revisit Grutter, with the Sixth Circuit having clearly established that Justice Kennedy's dissent was fully justified. The University of Michigan's racial preferences would then come to an end, some 15 years ahead of schedule by Justice O'Connor's watch.
All educations, we realized then, are not created equal. For Ryan and me, of Pahrump, Nev., just an hour from the city, the Vegas boy was a citizen of a planet we would never visit. What we didn’t know was that there were other, more distant planets that we could not even see. And those planets couldn’t see us, either.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Billionaire Bill Gates is offering $100,000 for an inventor to come up with a better condom. Through the non-profit Grand Challenges In Global Health, sought is a "Next Generation Condom" that significantly preserves or "enhances pleasure" says a press release, in order to improve "uptake and regular use" by couples.
But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between — all at the same time.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Kotkin likes to distract people and play to class and other prejudices with inflammatory language about “hip and cool” places versus suburbs and young sophistos, trendoids, and gays versus real families. It’s interesting, in that context, to note that his recent report on “post-familialism” was supported by the right-wing philanthropist Howard Ahmanson. Kotkin’s report credits Ahmanson as a “philanthropist,” but Salon dubs him “the avenging angel of the religious right,” a large funder of antigay and anti-evolution groups and causes. I firmly reject such divisiveness. I’ve argued that a key to urban prosperity is not investments in convention centers, stadiums, casinos or arts complexes, or even coffee shops for that matter, but being open to diversity and difference—having low barriers to entry to people of every sort, young and old, American and foreign-born, gay and straight, married and single, families with kids and without. As Jane Jacobs said a long time ago, truly great cities are federations of neighborhoods that are made up of all kinds of people.
aybe because stories about dwarf-tossing at his desert encampments became public, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the 58-year-old Saudi Arabian financial, media, and real-estate mogul, no longer invites journalists to visit his $130 million, 460,000-square-foot Riyadh complex with 371 rooms, an 80-foot-high entrance hall, 500 televisions, and a staff of 100. The prince has traditionally been proud to show off his immense wealth, but he has also worked hard to become the Western face of Saudi finance, and slinging dwarves around like so much hash would not go down too well with a First World audience. One of the largest shareholders in Citigroup, the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation after the Murdoch family, and with major stakes in dozens of other Western companies, he travels the globe often wearing bespoke suits instead of the traditional Saudi thawb. Based in a country where women can’t drive or vote, he champions women’s rights and discourages his female employees, who make up 65 percent of his workforce, from wearing the veil in his offices.