Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘decline

Friday!

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* Job report actually not that bad for the first time in months. UPDATE: Or not.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the gradual dismantlement of American and Russian arsenals, there would seem to be little use for real-life Dr. Strangeloves. Yet far from suffering obsolescence, the 62-year-old Dearborn and his colleagues in the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories are still busy tinkering with and coming up with new uses for our atomic weaponry.

* The math checks out: The religious scholars are from Saudi Arabia’s top institution of religious study and worked with a university professor to draft a report on the potential impact of women drivers. The group said women drivers would lead to a “surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce,” and complained that, after ten years of women driving, there would be “no more virgins” in the kingdom.

* Traitor watch: In an e- mail obtained by Bloomberg News that he wrote to the former vice president, Gingrich thanked Gore “for the opportunity to participate in the Protect Climate ad campaign.” He signed the March 2008 note, “Your friend, Newt.”

* Upheaval at the New York Public Library!

* Boing Boing visits a carbon sequestration site.

* And watch out: Mighty Katla might be about to erupt.

Occupy Oakland Attacked and Other Tuesday Morning Links

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* I woke this morning to news that police were attacking the Occupy Oakland encampment. @zunguzungu and @studentactivism are trying to make sense of what’s happening.

* Decline watch: US’s Most Powerful Nuclear Bomb Being Dismantled.

* J.G. Ballard watch: Giant Lego Man Washes Ashore in Florida.

* Apparently the Obama administration has given up on even pretending it can make an unbiased decision on Keystone XL. After hiring a TransCanada-affiliated firm to do the environmental assessment for the pipeline — a move so corrupt that even Congresspeople noticed — the administration has now taken on a former TransCanada lobbyist as a senior advisor.

* Presenting the “app gap.”

The report also documents for the first time an emerging “app gap” in which affluent children are likely to use mobile educational games while those in low-income families are the most likely to have televisions in their bedrooms.

While the industrial-chic American Tobacco Campus seems like a natural magnet for entrepreneurs, the newest and scrappiest companies in town make their home a few blocks away on the second floor of the Durham Chamber of Commerce. The Bull City Startup Stampede program provides sixty days of support for a select group of entrepreneurs, with the goal of establishing and retaining new businesses in the city center. Alas, there’s no indication in the article (or the Stampede’s website, or elsewhere in the press) that any of this money has gone to any part of the community that already exists in Durham.

* The Atlantic also says you should invest in taxi medallion futures. Via MeFi.

* And Paul Krugman catches Paul Ryan warning that unless Obama agrees to cuts, we could be forced into austerity! Oh no!

Speeding Down an Increasingly Rubble-Strewn Path to a Region Where Being Second Rate Is Good Enough

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The railroad tunnel project, all set and ready to go, would have provided jobs for 6,000 construction workers, not to mention all the residual employment that accompanies such projects. What we’ll get instead, if it is not built, is the increased pollution and worsening traffic jams that result when tens of thousands of commuters who would have preferred to take the train are redirected to their automobiles.

Bob Herbert unloads on Chris Christie as a symptom of everything going wrong in America. There’s more collapsing empire watch from Glenn Greenwald, who notes:

Just to underscore the rapidity of the decline, as recently as 1999, the U.S. was ranked by the World Health Organization as 24th in life expectancy.  It’s now 49th.  There are other similarly potent indicators.  In 2009, the National Center for Health Statistics ranked the U.S. in 30th place in global infant mortality rates.  Out of 20 “rich countries” measured by UNICEF, the U.S.ranks 19th in “child well-being.” Out of 33 nations measured by the OECD, the U.S. ranks 27th for student math literacy and 22nd for student science literacy.  In 2009, the World Economic Forum ranked 133 nations in terms of “soundness” of their banks, and the U.S. was ranked in 108th place, just behind Tanzania and just ahead of Venezuela.

There is, however, some good news:  the U.S. is now in fifth place in total number of executions, behind only China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and comfortably ahead of Yemen and Sudan, while there are two categories in which the U.S. has been and remains the undisputed champion of the world — this one and this one.  And, of course, the U.S. is not just objectively the greatest country on the planet, but the greatest country ever to exist in all of human history — as Dave Roberts put it in response to these life expectancy numbers:  “but we’re No. 1 in bestness!” — so we’re every bit as exceptional as ever.

Chart of the Day: Lost Decade

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Your chart of the day (via Ezra Klein) charts the Bush-era decline in real wages—through 2007, before the start of the Great Recession.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2010 at 11:20 am