Oh, for fuck’s sake

playing for keeps

For the moment, ignore that we went to war in Iraq in 2003 on the excuse that Saddam Hussein had WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) fully expecting that US troops would be greeted as liberators, to be showered with flowers and candy. For the moment, forget that the Iraq we had invaded almost disintegrated into a Sunni/Shi’ite civil war, with the northern Kurds standing on the sidelines, until the US military surge in 2007 temporarily shored up the situation on the ground, leaving all the old ethnic/religious tensions firmly in place. For the moment, pretend that neo-conservative predictions that the US/Iraq war would produce liberty and democracy not just in that country but throughout the region weren’t entirely idiotic.

Let’s consider just one set of factors of this fucked-up mess that the US left when America officially ended military operations in Iraq in 2011 and withdrew US troops.

Here are…

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Foxconn to Teach American Engineers About Manufacturing

Global Macro Monitor

Interesting story from AP on Foxconn, the Taiwan based companies who manufactures many of the Apple products.  Two points jump out at us:  1) automated equipment;  and 2) lack of skilled workers in the United States.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The head of Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group says he will invite dozens of American engineers to his factories in China to learn about manufacturing.

News reports here say Terry Gou told a business meeting on Wednesday that he did not believe President Barack Obama could succeed in moving production lines back to the U.S. because Americans have outsourced those jobs for too long.

But Gou says he hopes the Americans can learn how factories are operated so they can return home to set up facilities with automated equipment to resolve the lack of skilled laborers.

Foxconn employs 1.2 million people in China to assemble products for Apple Inc. and…

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Life at the Bottom

New School Thoughts on Africa

So the UN has published their list of the healthy and happiest places to live and Norway has topped the list again. Personally, Norway is a place that I would see as too cold to actually be “Perfect” but to each their own. Unfortunately, the 5 nations that were ranked the lowest of the 169 on the list were all African nations. Do you think that this is accurate or do you think that some metrics are missing within the UN’s criteria that make it difficult for some nations to ever move up on the index? For instance in an article on Yahoo it was stated “that rich countries have grown faster than poor countries over the last 40 years.” (Yahoo.com, 2010) But does the criteria compare a nation with billions of dollars of resources and investments in poorer nations equally to a nation that is solely dependent…

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Ethiopian leader’s visit brings very different view from the street

New School Thoughts on Africa

In September 2007 Iran’s President Ahmadinejad visited the Columbia University campus as part of his U.S. visit to the United Nations. Crowds formed and protesters gathered to discuss the visit, his speech and Columbia’s invitation. From praises for Columbia University for promoting freedom of speech, to being seen as supporting terrorists, the visit garnered international attention and support. Ahmadinejad’s visit was thoroughly covered in the New York Times and CNN provided input from students on their views of the visit, as you can see from this YouTube video.

This September another controversial leader visited and spoke at Columbia as part of a UN visit. This time it is Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia sharing his views on African Leadership. Many Ethiopian Americans, such as Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam of California State University, have asked Columbia to issue a statement clarifying and acknowledging the negative and horrific acts…

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Death to Aid

New School Thoughts on Africa

In this audio commentary, we reflect on the work of Dambisa Moyo and her book Dead Aid – Why Aid isn’t Working and Why There is a Better Way for Africa. A Harvard and Oxford educated economist hailing from Zambia, Moyo sees aid as a problem that is hurting the economic growth of African nations. Though not against humanitarian aid, she sees large government to government loans and grants, as roadblocks to positive economic development in countries throughout the continent. In her New York Times Best Seller she explains her stance on why aid breeds corruption and the ways that celebrities have created negative images of Africa. She believes all aid to Africa should be cut over the next 5 to 10 years. These countries should instead access the bond market, set up microfinance opportunities, work with China and have increase opportunities for trade and investment. Only with…

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Self Help Africa

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Cambridge Forecast Group Blog









Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a

Better Way for Africa

by Dambisa Moyo (Author)

Niall Ferguson (Foreword)

Editorial Reviews


An incendiary new book . . . Here is a refreshing voice . . . What makes Dead Aid so powerful is that it’s a double-barrelled shotgun of a book. With the first barrel, Moyo demolishes all the most cherished myths about aid being a good thing. But with the second, crucially, she goes on to explain what the West could be doing instead.” —Christopher Hart, The Daily Mail

“Dambisa Moyo is to aid what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to Islam. Here is an African woman, articulate, smart, glamorous, delivering a message of brazen political incorrectness: cut aid to Africa. Aid, she argues, has not merely failed to work; it has compounded Africa’s problems. Moyo cannot be dismissed as a crank …

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Chart of the day: The slow death of journalism

eats shoots 'n leaves

Via Confessions of a Newsosaur, dramatic evidence of the collapse of print newspaper circulation.

Click on the image to enlarge.

BLOG Journalism

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Jan. 1 – Jan. 31 – In the news

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“Time” is the most used noun in the English language, yet it remains a mystery.




“Time” is the most used noun in the English language, yet it remains a mystery. We’ve just completed an amazingly intense and rewarding multidisciplinary conference on the nature of time, and my brain is swimming with ideas and new questions. Rather than trying a summary, here’s my stab at a top ten list partly inspired by our discussions: the things everyone should know about time.

1. Time exists.

Might as well get this common question out of the way. Of course time exists — otherwise how would we set our alarm clocks? Time organizes the universe into an ordered series of moments, and thank goodness; what a mess it would be if reality were complete different from moment to moment. The real question is whether or not time is fundamental, or perhaps emergent. We used to think that “temperature” was a basic category of nature, but now we know it…

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