It shouldn’t be any surprise to you that I often agree with Paul Krugman–I’m both rational and occasionally shrill. For instance, I see a lot of sense in the compressed argument Krugman makes here, in his recent editorial: And right now, by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nation’s infrastructure. We have the need:… Read more →
If you’ve read here over the last year, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much lost all hope that Obama is going to fix things–I’m willing to live with “won’t make it worse”, and clearly he was a better choice than the alternative, but I am labouring under no illusion now that he’s going to actually undo all the evils of… Read more →
Guess what the newly released Census data shows? U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. There’s more at the article, like this: The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4… Read more →
Looking at politics here, and in our neighbour to the south, I am starting to think that there’s maybe something to the depressive realism proposition. I am too rage-fatigued to post about today’s particular stories, but as usual Ferocious J has it covered, saying what I would probably say if I had the energy left to rant.
Over the last decade I’ve become increasingly cynical about, and frankly afraid of Americans. Not all of them–I know they’re not all the same, and there are lots of them I love–but Americans in the aggregate. I had some hope that things were changing there last year, but when I read statistics like 58% of US voters favour the use of torture in gathering information–specifically in a case where there is no ticking bomb–I am more scared than ever. Factor in that the rate is even higher for younger people and I’m left wondering if there will be anyone left who understands that this isn’t how things should be. Those numbers about how many people think the US legal system is too worried about individual rights make me despair for humanity, and for the American voting public’s ability to read.
Nice to see the Watts story get some coverage on one of the larger political blogs. I quite like this bit: It’s ironic, though, that the same day I was arrested one Mary Callahan, chief privacy officer for Homeland Security, was up here in Canada reassuring us that the border isn’t so bad a place after all, and the US… Read more →
I’ve been very busy the last few days, with a combination of post-moving stuff (hey, look, we’re close to family now, and it’s the holidays), and with some important changes at work (on which I shall write a very journal-y entry shortly). Which explains why I haven’t already written about an utterly unacceptable, and miserably predictable, incident. Quite a bit’s… Read more →
I’ve been mostly keeping my nose out of the US debate–I don’t understand the debate, since I look on a certain level of access to quality health care as a right of all me–but I do want to point out the comments of John Gary Maxwell, a 40 year veteran surgeon. You should read the whole piece, but here’s a… Read more →
To add to the list of things I’m really unhappy with the Obama administration about: letting the torturers get away with blatant destruction of evidence. It’s one thing not to prosecute, it’s a completely different thing to de facto endorse the obstruction of justice, and consequently send the message that it’s OK for things to operate this way; business as usual. Gordon Hewart must be rolling in his grave.
I’m not going to get my hopes up too high yet, but if it turns out that putting Sotomayor on the court was the start of the end of corporate personhood… well, let’s just say I don’t see myself having a problem with that.
Like many other liberal people, I pinned a lot of hope on the dramatic change from a Bush administration to an Obama one as being the end of several policy directions that I saw as abhorrent. Unlike many people on “the left”, I was consciously being rational about my expectations. I knew that Obama intended to govern as a “centrist”1… Read more →
“The correlation between U.S. aid and human rights violations has long been noted by scholarship.” Just because Chomsky is a thinker who’s ideas are best considered at a length beyond that of a soundbite, doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to throw in a finely polished and cutting bit of snark as an aside. And that article the snark is nested in–that also bears reading.
One of the reasons I often find things I like in the Guardian is because where else would you find someone like Mark Weisbrot (the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and economics PhD) writing a review of something like Michael Moore’s new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Regardless of what you think of Moore and his… Read more →
The subjects vary — crime and penal policy, healthcare, don’t get me started on foreign policy — but there is an ideological approach in America that is distinguished by one common characteristic: words and deeds utterly lacking in the quality of mercy. There is a cancer in the collective American soul — a mercy deficit that has in recent years… Read more →